This Wednesday was traditionally called “Spy Wednesday” in the old English missals because the gospel tells of Judas’s negotiations with the Jewish authorities which led him to “spy” on Our Lord and arrange to betray him to his enemies. As we hear the words of Judas, we see the depths to which human perversity can descend. First, this intimate friend and companion of Jesus—this apostle who had been invited by Our Lord to the most favored of all religious groups in the world—enters into collusion with Our Lord’s enemies and begins his conversation with them by saying, “What are you willing to give me. . .?” They offer him thirty pieces of silver, the ordinary price of a slave. So Jesus was sold by one of his closest associates as if he were a common slave.
And then, when Jesus announced at the Last Supper in great sorrow that one of his apostles was about to betray him, they were horrified by this idea, and asked him, “Surely it is not I, Lord?” And even Judas, knowing full well of his connivance with the authorities, had the nerve to say, “Surely it is not I, Lord?” I wonder what would have happened if Jesus had replied, “Yes, Judas, it is you, and you know perfectly well that it is you!”
Let us remember, my dear friends, that Our Divine Lord endured this awful betrayal by one of his own, and then the three denials by another one of his own—for our salvation. No sin against him, no indignity, no suffering was too great for him to endure to redeem the human race. We have been bought back, and at what a price! So again we pray: We adore you, O Christ, and we praise you because by all your sufferings and insults, your terrible death, your lying dead in the tomb for some forty hours, you atoned for our sins and reopened for us the gates of heaven. Thank you for seeking God’s truth, God Bless you. Father Victor Brown, O.P.
Note: This message was composed some years ago.