March 23, 2016

Spy Wed

March 23, 2016:  Wednesday of Holy Week (“Spy Wednesday”)

  • 'Coin' button, silver-colored accessories:  the chief priests paid Judas 30 silver pieces to hand Jesus over (gospel)
  • 'Hands' tie:  Judas dipped his hand into the dish and will  'hand' Jesus over (gospel)
  • 'People' tie pin, 'silverware' tie bar:  disciples around Jesus at the Last Supper (gospel)
  • 'Wooden' suspenders:  wood of the cross
  • Handel/Messiah T-shirt (under dress shirt):  Messiah's London premiere, 273 years ago today
  • Purple shirt:  Lenten season

  • He was despisèd, from Messiah/ Handel, for "He gave his back" middle section (1st reading, coincidentally on the anniversary of its London premiere)
For the psalm
(Sorry; nothing from the metal band Judas Iscariot :-)
Pope Francis audience
Contemplate the revelation of God’s infinite mercy in the events of Jesus’ passion, death, and resurrection.  On Holy Thursday, Jesus gives himself to us as food and, in the washing of feet, teaches us the need to serve.  On Good Friday, in the mystery of Christ’s death, we contemplate God's undying love embracing everyone and summoning us to love one another.  Holy Saturday, the day of God’s silence, invites us not only to solidarity with the abandoned and alone but also to trust in the faithful love that turns death into life.  These days speak to us powerfully of God’s love and mercy.  In one of her visions, Julian of Norwich heard the Lord say he rejoices eternally because he was able to suffer for our sake out of love.  Prepare to celebrate the coming days with gratitude for this great mystery of God’s mercy, poured out for us on the cross of our salvation.
  • Is 50:4-9a  I gave my back to those who beat me; I didn't shield my face from buffets and spitting.  God my help upholds me; I won't be put to shame.
  • Ps 69:8-10, 21-22, 31, 33-34  "Lord, in your great love, answer me."  I bear insult.  I've become an outcast because zeal for you consumes me.  Insult has broken my heart, I'm weak, and nobody consoled me.  I'll sing praise to God who hears the poor.
  • Mt 26:14-25  Judas Iscariot looked for an opportunity to hand Jesus over.  The disciples asked Jesus where to prepare the Passover supper, then did as he ordered.  Jesus / disciples:  “One of you will betray me.” / “Not I!?” / “The one who dipped his hand into the dish with me....  Woe to him.”  Judas:  “Not I!?"...
    Bonus:  Easter Triduum infographics (click for full-size)

    Teixeira for the Focus blog

    Thanks to Catholic-Link 

    • Creighton:  “The Lord God is my help.”  God’s blessings can come to us through pain and trouble.  If I stay strong in the Lord, I’m where he wants me to be.  I can’t run and hide from difficult situations God places in my life.  God reminds me to trust him daily....
    • One Bread, One Body:  "In the sight of my foes":  The apostles were distressed that Jesus' betrayer was one of them.  But Jesus wasn't distressed in his betrayer's presence.  He teaches us the appropriate response is mercy; he reaches out to Judas with an offer of friendship in the morsel.  Announcing his betrayer is at hand forces Judas to realize Jesus is still divine, all-knowing, and reaching out to him.  Jesus knows the Source of his peace.  We disciples can be calm in the sight of our foes if we're united with the Father...
    • Passionist:  What do I do that takes me away from following Jesus?  Criticism?  Rash judgment?  Prejudice?  Reliance on wealth or power?  Addiction?  May I seek a deeper relationship with Jesus and surrender to his love....
      The Last Supper/ Da Vinci
    •  "The tragedy of the betrayal":  The tragedy of Judas was his refusal to accept Jesus as he was.  "Judas was willing to take money in exchange for the Word of God.  Those who accept sensual or worldly goods in exchange for casting the Savior out from their souls do likewise.  People who sin show contempt for the Word of God and betray him appear to be calling out to the powers of the enemy who offer worldly gain in return betraying God's Word.  The number of coins they gave Judas was the number of years the Savior had sojourned in this world.  For at 30 he was baptized and began to preach, like Joseph was 30 when he began to gather grain for his brothers.  Just as when God prepared the grain for the children of Israel it was also given to the Egyptians, so too the gospel was prepared for the saints but preached also to the unfaithful and wicked." (Origen, Commentary on Matthew 78. I found the commentary at Sacred Texts, New Advent, and Bible Hub but didn't find #78 or this passage.  If you do, please comment with a link.)  Jesus tested his apostles to teach them to examine themselves lest they think themselves stronger than they were.  We too must examine ourselves and ask him to strengthen us so we won't fail him when tempted.

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