Wednesday of Holy Week
8 April 2020 / Ave Maria Parish Live Stream
Romanus Cessario, O.P.
People sometimes refer to the Wednesday of Holy Week as Spy Wednesday. Why? The figure of Judas appears in the Gospel. Of him, Christ says “one of you will betray me” (Mt 26:21).
We learn an important lesson from Judas, albeit a sad lesson. Judas committed the gravest of sins. He betrayed Christ to the powers that would instigate his crucifixion on Good Friday. Judas leaves the Cenacle, where Christ would institute his great Sacrament of Love, the Holy Eucharist. At that moment, the Betrayer enters into hateful darkness. Judas also enters into forgetfulness. He forgot everything that Christ had taught about the divine goodness and the divine mercy.
How do we know this? During the readings of the Sacred Triduum, we learn that Judas, once he realized the great evil he had committed, hung himself from a tree. In a word, he despaired. Suicide. How could Judas have forgotten the prayer Christ teaches us, “Our Father...forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us”? How could Judas have forgotten the truth that Christ taught the woman caught in adultery, namely, that no sin exceeds the divine mercy? How could Judas have forgotten that Christ always welcomes sinners who turn to him with even the least movement of repentance? No answer to these questions lies open to us. We confront the mystery of predestination.
Judas is not the only disciple who betrayed Jesus. Peter also betrays him, and three times. Peter however did not forget the lessons Christ taught. Instead of despair, Peter wept tears of repentance. On this day before the Sacred Triduum begins, let each of us imitate Peter. Weep for your sins, yes. At the same time, confide yourselves to the outpouring of divine love, mercy, and forgiveness that appears in such a concrete way in the Holy Eucharist, the Holy Cross, and the Exultation that comes at Easter.