Daily homily thoughts, 4/8

Today is Wednesday of Holy Week.

Our attention is turned today to Judas and his betrayal of Jesus. He betrayed his God for 30 pieces of silver. What’s our price?

Because of the focus on Judas, today is traditionally known as Spy Wednesday. Why? One need only look at the Gospel proclaimed on this day (Mt 26:14-25) which accounts of the series of events that comes right before the betrayal.

Why “spy”? Most likely because on this day–the day before the Last Supper–Judas conspired with the Sanhedrin to arrange a deal to hand Jesus over. More, Judas actively looks–or spies–for a way to betray Christ. Verses 15 and 16: “They paid him thirty pieces of silver, and from that time on he looked for an opportunity to hand him over.”

The betrayal of Christ is an ugly and dirty (thus black) act. That’s why today is also known as “Ugly Wednesday” and “Black Wednesday”.

Perhaps as a result of those titles and because of practical concerns, in the Czech Republic today is also called “Soot-Sweeping Wednesday”. It once was the day when most people cleaned their chimneys so that they would be ready for Easter Sunday. Go figure.

Oftentimes we don’t have to spy out ways to betray God; it happens all the time. We, too, sell out cheap. Today is a day to be aware of that and to fight the Judas within us.