Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Wednesday of Holy Week

Then one of the twelve, who was called Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests and said, "What will you give me if I deliver him to you?" And they paid him thirty pieces of silver. And from that moment he sought an opportunity to betray him (Mt 26:14-16).

Wednesday is also known as Spy Wednesday because on this day Judas made a bargain with the high priest to betray Jesus for 30 silver pieces (Matt 26:14-16; Mark 14:10-11; Luke 22:1-6). In Poland, the young people throw an effigy of Judas from the top of a church steeple. Then it is dragged through the village amidst hurling sticks and stones. What remains of the effigy is drowned in nearby stream or pond.

This is also the day that Jesus was anointed with an expensive jar of alabaster by the woman at Bethany, in the house of Simon the leper (Matt 26:6-13; Mark 14:3-9; John 12:1-19).
(from Catholic Culture)

We are healed by His bruises! O heavenly Physician, who takes upon Himself the sufferings of those He comes to cure! But not only was He bruised for our sins; He was also slaughtered as a lamb: and this not merely as a Victim submitting to the inflexible will of His Father who hath laid upon Him the iniquity of us all, but (as the prophet here assures us) because it was His own will. His love for us, as well as His submission to His Father, led Him to the great Sacrifice. Observe, too, how He refuses to defend Himself before Pilate, who could so easily deliver Him from His enemies: He shall be dumb as a lamb before his shearers, and He shall not open His mouth. Let us love and adore this divine silence, which works our salvation. Let us not pass over an iota of the devotedness which Jesus shows us—a devotedness which never could have existed save in the heart of a God. Oh! how much He has loved us, His children, the purchase of His Blood, His seed, as the prophet here calls us. O holy Church! thou long-lived seed of Jesus, who laid down His life, thou art dear to Him, for He bought thee at a great price. Faithful souls! give Him love for love. Sinners! be converted to this your Savior; His Blood will restore you to life, for if we have all gone astray like sheep, remember what is added: The Lord hath laid upon Him the iniquity of us all. There is no sinner, however great may be his crimes, there is no heretic, or infidel, who has not his share in this precious Blood, whose infinite merit is such, that it could redeem a million worlds more guilty even than our own. — The Liturgical Year, Abbot Gueranger O.S.B.
(from Catholic Culture)

(from One Bread, One Body)
Betrayal starts with the little things. A little drop of your guard, a
little taking your eyes off Jesus (e.g. Mt 14:30), accompanied by a lack
of repentance, and soon you break faith with Jesus about a little thing,
such as misuse of money. This is how Judas, who literally followed Jesus
for three years, started on his path to becoming a spy and a betrayer.
Judas was trusted to be the treasurer of the apostles, but started helping
himself to the money (Jn 12:6) and did not repent.

If you can't be trusted in little things, like faithfulness with money,
you can't be trusted in greater things (see Lk 16:10), such as being
faithful to Jesus no matter what. After failing enough little tests, Judas
soon regarded Jesus as a "little thing." Amazingly, Judas sold the Son of
God for the pittance of a month's pay! (Mt 26:15) Some wanted criminals
fetch greater bounties than that!

There's a little Judas in each of us. We all have the potential to use the
benefits of discipleship for selfish purposes. If we start down that path,
we begin changing from a disciple to a "spy" (see Gal 2:4). Then it's only
a "little" step to the act of betraying Jesus.

During Holy Week, Judas looked for opportunities to betray Jesus (Mt
26:16), rather than looking to be discipled by Him. During this Holy Week,
Jesus is asking you: "What are you looking for?" (Jn 1:38). Repent! "Fix
your eyes on Jesus" (Heb 3:1). Don't miss what Jesus wants to do in your
life this week.

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