Wednesday, 17 April 2019 : Wednesday of Holy Week (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Purple/Violet

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day, the Wednesday of the blessed Holy Week, we focus on the betrayal of our Lord Jesus by one of His own disciples, the infamous Judas Iscariot. As such, traditionally today is also known as ‘Spy Wednesday’ for it was told that Judas Iscariot went to the chief priests and the elders to sell out his own Lord and Master on this day, which was done in utter secrecy that none of the other disciples knew about his betrayal until the very end.

We heard of how Judas Iscariot went to the chief priests and the elders asking them for an offer of money in exchange for the betrayal that he himself put on the discussion table. And they agreed on a sum of thirty pieces of silver. This may seem to be a lot, but in fact, as compared to the value of other things, this is a merely very small amount, and in fact, historical research and records showed that the price was the rough average price of a slave in the market.

And this is a very significant and meaningful thing to think about, that the Lord, God and King, Master of the entire Universe, was betrayed and sold to His enemies at the price of a mere slave, a most worthless and indeed, a mere commodity to be traded at the time, when slaves were not even treated as a human being should have been treated. And that was exactly what the Lord willingly accepted, the role of a faithful Servant and a suffering slave to all of us mankind.

As written in the first reading today, taken from the Book of the prophet Isaiah, God sent His Saviour into this world, a Servant Who would obediently fulfilled the mission which has been entrusted to Him, even though it would require Him to go through enormous suffering, persecution, rejection, ridicule and humiliation, to endure all that the worst of the world could raise up against Him. And that was exactly what the Lord Jesus had to suffer from.

He was willing to endure all of that sufferings, because of nothing less than His pure, selfless and enduring desire to love each and every one of us sinners, all those whom He loved from the beginning of time, but because of our sins, we have been sundered and separated from His love. Without the love of God, there would have been no hope for us all. And that is precisely because of the love that He has for us, that He was willing to forgive us our sins and be reconciled with us.

God could have destroyed us outright with His will alone. Our sins are despicable to Him, and our refusal to obey Him and our continued sinful actions are truly hurtful to Him. And yet, He was ever patient and forgiving, knowing that there are still good in us, as He created us all good and perfect before sin came and corrupted us. He wants to be reconciled with us, and that desire and compassion in Him allowed Him to do what He has willingly undertook for our sake.

And that is to humble Himself and empty Himself, humbling Himself before God and man alike, to obey the will of the Father so perfectly and be filled with so much love for Him and for His fellow men, that He bore that cross upon His shoulders, as the perfect Man, the New Adam, by which God made a new Covenant with the whole race of man. The first Adam had sinned because he chose to side with the devil and believe in the devil’s lies, and submitted to his greed and pride, and Christ as the New Adam showed us all how each and every one of us ought to be like in our own lives.

Judas fell into sin because he was selfish, and so did the chief priests and all those who plotted with Judas against the Lord. The former cared about his own desire for money, which he had done earlier as he helped himself corruptly to the group’s own treasure money, a wicked act to serve his own greed, while the latter wanted to preserve their own status, prestige and standing in the society, and could not bear to have the opposition from the Lord Jesus, His authority and His teachings.

Now, brothers and sisters in Christ, how should we choose to proceed with our lives from now on? Do we follow the example of Judas Iscariot, the chief priests and the elders in their prideful and haughty attitudes, in their greed and desires for power, glory and worldly satisfactions? Or should we instead follow the example of Our Lord Jesus Christ, His humility before all, and His love for His heavenly Father and for us all, as the perfect example for all of us to follow?

Let us all reflect on all these things as we prepare ourselves to enter the most sacred Paschal Triduum beginning tomorrow on Holy Thursday, that we may truly reflect and ponder on our own lives, our every words and actions, so that in everything we say and do, we will grow ever more devoted to the Lord, and shunning behind all of our past wicked ways, that we do not follow the path of sin any longer, and be true disciples of the Lord from now on.

Let us all have a wonderful time celebrating together the sacred Paschal Triduum, and allow the Lord to enter into our lives, that He may transform each and every one of us to be true children of light and to be worthy recipients of God’s everlasting inheritance and wonders. Amen.

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