Tomorrow begins the Triduum, but today is “Spy Wednesday,” when Judas set in motion the events that would lead to Christ’s passion.
I reflect on what that means for all of us in this week’s column, “All Things New”:
If you want to consider this merely a curious date that stands outside the proper of the seasons, and doesn’t have any real significance, think again.
Spy Wednesday throws a spotlight, however briefly, on Judas, the one whose very name to this day is synonymous with betrayal. But the glare also falls on each of us. We might consider this an unofficial feast day for the human race: a day when each of us has to face the painful reality that we are sinners, and that we are guilty of an unspeakable crime.
If you want to be honest about it: we have all betrayed Christ.
We have all been Judas.
Meantime, Msgr. Charles Pope sees the act of Judas reflected in some of today’s clergy:
One way to reflect on this terrible sin is to reflect that Judas was among the first priests called by Jesus. We see in the call of the Apostles the establishment of the ministerial priesthood. Jesus called these men to lead his Church and minister in his name. But one of these priests went wrong, terribly wrong, and turned against the very one he should have proclaimed.
Among the other “first priests” we also see great weaknesses evident. Peter in weakness denied Jesus, though he repented later. All the others except John fled at the time of the passion. And so here we see the “sins of the clergy” made manifest. Christ did not call perfect men. He promised to protect his Church from officially teaching error but this does not mean that there is no sin in the Church and among those who are called to lead. The story of Judas shows that even among those who were called, one went terribly wrong.
Check out the rest. And you can read more on Judas Iscariot in the Catholic Encyclopedia, along with background on Holy Week. Wikipedia also has information about Spy Wednesday, with details on how various cultures observe it.
Image: Judas Goes to the High Priests by James Tissot