Liturgical Colour : Purple/Violet
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day, the Wednesday of the Holy Week is traditionally known in the Church as the Spy Wednesday, as on this day the Scripture reading from the Gospel of St. Matthew highlights the betrayal of the Lord Jesus by Judas Iscariot, one of His disciples. On this day, according to the tradition of the Apostles, Judas went to the chief priests and the elders to betray Jesus for thirty pieces of silver.
Judas betrayed the Lord Jesus because he did not have genuine faith in Him. He followed Him for ulterior motives, that is to profit and enrich himself through his frequent ‘helpings’ to the common fund of the disciples which was placed under his care, and thus he was corrupt in his ways and dealings. All these despite him having followed the Lord Jesus for over three years as one of His closest disciples.
Despite all the miracles the Lord had performed before him and the other disciples, and also all the teachings and parables He had used and mentioned throughout His ministry, Judas ultimately chose to betray the Lord and instead settled for what he has always been tempted to, that is money. He could not resist the temptation of wealth and worldly goods, and Satan made use of it to bring him to commit a great sin against God.
And thus Judas Iscariot was forever placed in the hall of infamy, for having committed the betrayal against Jesus, for his repeated and unrepented sinful acts, cheating his fellow disciples for the sake of his own greed and selfish desires. He had been given the free will to choose whether he should follow the Lord and repent, or whether he ought to continue walking down his path of sin.
Is that the path we want to take, brothers and sisters in Christ? He alone out of the Twelve chosen by the Lord at the start of His ministry fell out of grace and he alone did not die in the state of grace, having failed his Lord and Master, and instead of being obedient, he fell into sin and betrayed Him for worldly wealth, for thirty pieces of silver. To him, the Lord and His ministry was just means to an end, to achieve more wealth and power for himself.
Instead, brothers and sisters in Christ, we should follow the examples of the Apostles, especially that of St. Peter. Why is that so? Just like Judas Iscariot, they have also abandoned the Lord when He was arrested after the Last Supper, and they were scattered in fear after that moment. Yet, they repented and had great regret in their hearts after what they had done, and that was how they were reconciled and eventually became the courageous Apostles.
Those Apostles henceforth had to endure the same pain and suffering that the Lord Jesus had endured, being subjected to ridicule, rejection, anger, persecution, punishment and even prison and exile by those people to whom they had gone to, in preaching the Gospel and the Good News. They had embraced the roles which the Lord had entrusted them with, and did their best to follow the Lord in His ways.
Brothers and sisters in Christ, now as we have heard all these readings from the Scriptures and reflected on it, let us all think of how we can apply it in our own lives. We have been called to be true and devout Christians, to walk in the Lord’s path with faith and devotion, and with genuine and zealous love for God. Are we able to devote ourselves in this manner? Or are we still like Judas Iscariot, who placed his greed and worldly desires ahead of his commitment to God?
As we journey through this time of the Holy Week, let us all turn away from our sinful past, from all of our wickedness, and turn towards the Lord with all of our hearts. Let us all grow ever more faithful day after day, that despite the challenges and temptations we may face along our way, we will continue to persevere regardless and grow deeper in our commitment towards Him.
May the Lord bless us all and may He grant us the strength to persevere in faith, that all of us will grow to understand and appreciate better the love that He has for each and every one of us, that we will no longer be swayed by the temptation of money as Judas had done, but instead, place the Lord as the priority and the centre focus of our lives. May God be with us always, now and forever. Amen.