Wednesday of Holy Week
Is often referred to as
However, it is also known as Spy Wednesday, based on the traditional belief
that on this day,
Judas, one of Jesus’ 12 disciples, visited the Sanhedrin.
They paid him 30 pieces of silver and he told them he would look for
an opportunity to hand Jesus over to them.
A Lesson to Learn
The readings for the day tell the story of Judas’ betrayal. We may rightfully think of Judas as a traitor. However, there is something even he can teach us.
It is important to remember that
Judas and Peter betrayed/denied Jesus.
The difference between the two lies in their response to their betrayal.
Peter turned back to Jesus while
Judas did not
Judas despaired and hung himself
Peter saw the merciful gaze of Jesus and “wept bitterly” in repentance.
We betray Jesus in many ways every day, and yet, like Judas and Peter,
we have a choice. We can turn away and reject Jesus
like Judas did on Spy Wednesday, or we can
turn to Jesus and seek His mercy and forgiveness –
Jesus is waiting with open arms
to welcome his wayward children.
There is hope for us even if we betray Jesus –
as long as we
turn back to him and ask forgiveness.
This does not give us an excuse to sin. It is wrong
to sin because we can always be forgiven later.
However, it is comforting to know that we have
merciful and loving God
us to fall and rise again.
There is a beautiful saying:
“When God pushes you to the edge of difficulty trust him fully because two things can happen: either He’ll catch you when you fall or He will teach you how to fly.”
This saying also applies when we sin.
He lifts us up every time we fall and if we only trust him,
he will teach us how to fly!
“Look Beyond What You See”
Spy Wednesday is a good day to
to analyze our motives and our
It is a chance to embrace the mercy of God and acknowledge that we are sinners. It is also a time to remember that God loves us even when we betray him. We must turn back to him even when we have turned away.
It is in turning back to the one we
that we see love and mercy, not condemnation.
If we never turn back, we will never see the great love he has for us.
He wants us and he loves us.
We just have to look. However, we have to do more than look.
It takes believing to really see.
“Every saint has a past and every sinner
has a future.”
Keeping Good Friday From Going Badly
In it, I address our
strategies for Good Friday
with little ones,
including fasting, avoiding our usual occupations, and
keeping ourselves quiet and occupied.
These coloring pages are a big part my strategy for
that last bit.
This is a GOLDEN opportunity to say with
actions what I
would have trouble getting across in a thousand speeches:
that our faith is important.
It’s something we live.
It’s something for which we are willing to make sacrifices.
Good Friday is the day Jesus suffered
and died for you,
for me, for your preschoolers and my preschoolers.
How better to make that real
our kids than to sacrifice on that day,
and to explain why?
I try to keep the mindset on that Friday that one would have on the day a loved one was suffering and facing death, perhaps having a risky surgery,
or bedridden in the end stages of a serious illness.
Yes, I’d have breakfast, but it wouldn’t be something I’d necessarily relish. I’d do the most necessary chores, but what I could forego I would. I would be at my loved one’s side if possible. If I couldn’t be, I would look at a photo of him, or call him to talk. No matter what else I was doing during the day, he and his plight would be on my mind. I wouldn’t participate in unnecessary recreational activities. I wouldn’t have the heart to do it. My kids would certainly understand why we would skip school and activities that day.
Even young children
can understand this at their own level,
and know that
Jesus is suffering on this day,
so we keep to our family traditions.
As they grow older, it will make the triduum and the stories
they hear and the images they see
more understandable, more real.
I do want to share from my personal experience with my own family,
that this type of real, memorable family culture choice,
thoroughly and lovingly explained,
has made our faith a
deeply ingrained part of our real lives.
It really is an OPPORTUNITY, if you look at it like that.