thoughts and observations on the daily readings
Wednesday of Holy Week ("Spy Wednesday")
Today in the passage from Matthew we recall the agonizing truth that Jesus was betrayed, denied, and abandoned by those closest to Him. Of course it is Judas that stands out in this regard. Notice that in his response “surely it is not I, Rabbi?” Judas indicates his failure of faith in his term of address – not “Lord” or “Master,” but Rabbi. As we have already seen this week, Judas will not move beyond self-interest and his own determination of how things should play out. While others will repent and return to the Lord, Judas will not entrust himself to the will and goodness of God.
On this Spy Wednesday we are reminded of the danger of our own ego and willfulness. Our sins of today are a betrayal and denial of the Lord just as surely as the failures we see on display in the Gospel. As the passages from Isaiah, Psalm 69, and Matthew paint a portrait of a betrayed Messiah, ever faithful to the will of God – no matter the cost – our sins, our selfishness, our infidelity are all the more stark. How fortunate we are that this Suffering Servant is also the Lord of Mercy. He knows our failures and the darkest recesses of our hearts and He loves us nonetheless. He goes resolutely to the cross knowing how little we deserve His sacrifice.
Let this moment be one of genuine contrition for sin and the desire to offer our hearts to the Lord who loves us so passionately and completely.
Surely it is I, Lord, who have failed you time and again.
Surely it is I, Lord, who beg your mercy.
Surely it is I, Lord, who long for your love and your grace.