Today the Mass readings again show Judas Iscariot making the preparations to betray Our Lord.
And, today, he is given 30 pieces of silver to turn over Our Lord and bring about His death and horrible suffering.
Lent officially ends tomorrow night at the moment the Mass of the Lord's Supper begins.
Wednesdays Gospel reading preludes the betrayal of Judas. How appropriate then is the sometimes used term of Spy Wednesday for this period before our observance of the passion, death and resurrection of Jesus.
The events that led Jesus to the cross were filled with intrigue, suspense, and an impending sense of disaster.
Clearly, the powers of good and evil, light and darkness, sin and salvation were poised to exhibit themselves at the place called Golgotha. Johns Gospel account of Jesus betrayal seemed to show Jesus deep understanding of His role as the Messianic fulfillment. (Jn 14-17) Judas in his interrogatory and somewhat cynical statement of Surely it is not I, Rabbi? (Mt 26:25) provided the catalyst for the process of darkness to unravel.
The Synoptic tradition on the betrayal of Judas began about the time when the authorities in Jerusalem had determined to kill Jesus, and Judas engaged to betray Him into their hands.
The Gospels of Matthew and Luke did not imply that the betrayal was induced by anything more than the money offered or that opposition to Jesus was Judas motive; indeed Judas appeared as the instrument of higher powers as Luke write: Satan entered into Judas. (Lk 22:3).
The event was not unexpected to Jesus, since at the Last Supper, He had announced His coming betrayal by one of the 12 disciples. While to the 12, this event seemed at the time most improbable, to Jesus it was not so and indeed was in keeping with the divine purpose as expressed in the Scriptures and was a necessary means for the accomplishment of the divine plan.
What is so significant about Spy Wednesday is that it reflects the daily struggles we all endure in order to accept a relationship with the Lord. To live the life that Jesus intended for us is a perpetual struggle on a daily basis with good and evil. Sometimes when we are questioned about our transgressions, we answer back. Its not me Lord. But the tranquility of Jesus realization of His mission provides us with hope in the days to come.
There is a real message here in Jesus tranquil resignation to the events that are coming: Faith in the love and power of the Father. As believers in the power of Gods love and goodness, Spy Wednesday should provide a period for reflection and prayer. We need to examine our lives and look for the moments that we have falsely shared intimacy with our brothers and sisters in faith.