Holy Week Meditations: Wednesday 17 April

Apr 17, 2019 by


April 17

am: 55 pm: 74 Jer 17:5-10,14-17 Phil 4:1-13 John 12:27-36


 LITURGICAL THEME FOR THE DAY: This day in Holy Week recalls the agreement that Judas Iscariot, one of Jesus’ 12 disciples, made with the Jewish leaders who were members of the ruling order called the Sanhedrin. He promised to identify Jesus so that he could be arrested in return for 30 pieces of silver. The sign would be a kiss. This is recorded in Luke 22:1-6. When Jesus reveals Judas as the one who would betray Him, the fate of Jesus was at hand. Jesus orders Judas to be quick about what he intends to do. Then Judas goes out into the loneliness of the night, aware that Jesus knows of his infidelity.

The name, “Spy Wednesday” seems to have its origin in the Celtic Church and reflects the untrustworthiness of this poor soul. This day for some Christians raises deep emotions. For example, In Poland, the young people throw an effigy of Judas from the top of a church steeple. Then it is dragged through the village amidst hurling sticks and stones. What remains of the effigy is drowned in a nearby stream or pond. Why all this energy? Well, Judas’ role in the story seems to set into motion the drama of the Passion. He is God’s inscrutable instrument, that once “Satan entered him” all was doomed. Perhaps these Christians grasp that the allowance of Satan no matter how tempting will doom humanity?

MEDITATION OF THE DAY:    Judas, today is the betrayer. Jesus took him in as trusted colleague and Judas stabbed the King of Kings in the back for 30 pieces of silver. He betrayed the trust of someone who loved and valued him.  The searing pain of that is clearly felt in the Psalm appointed for the morning office today as we read.v.4-5: “My heart is in ANGUISH within me; the Terrors of death have fallen upon me. Fear and trembling come upon me, and horror overwhelms me.”

In this Psalm, David is expressing something perfectly as he wrestles with betrayal, both as one who is betrayed and one who has betrayed a trust. He does what most of us do. He questions, he vents, and he expressed anger, pain, and frustration. Of course, he like us directs it as God as well as his enemy. Yet, Jesus does not. In fact, he tells his associate to go do and do what he must quickly.  By the end of the Psalm David does arrive at the place of grace as he witnesses to the faithfulness of God, recalling the past, when God redeemed him in safety, delivered him in battle. Today is a worthy day despite the pains of our betrayals to ponder when God has afforded us that amazing grace and how we have benefitted as a result.

ANCIENT WISDOM/PRESENT GRACE: “For you will certainly carry out God’s purpose, however you act, but it makes a difference to you whether you serve like Judas or like John.””    – C.S. Lewis

PRAYER OF THE DAY: O Lord and Master of my life, take from me the spirit of sloth, faintheartedness, lust of power, and idle talk. But give rather the spirit of humility, patience and love to your servant. Grant me to see my own sin and not to judge my brother, for You are blessed from all ages to all ages. Amen

HOLY WEEK DISCIPLINE Wednesday is known as Spy Wednesday, for this Gospel records the agreement to hand over Jesus for 30 pieces of silver. There is a tradition of making a special knotted bread (in hangman’s knots) called “Judases” for this day. Make this and share them with people who you seek forgiveness with.

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