Message from Fr Hugh for Spy Wednesday of Holy Week
Welcome or Witaj, which my Duolingo course in Polish tells me means ‘welcome.’ Welcome to Spy Wednesday. (I was doing all right in Polish with the nominative case and then the accusative case which my school Latin helped with, but when I came across the instrumental case I thought this might be the time to give up.) But why Spy Wednesday? Because today’s gospel tells the story of Judas planning the betrayal of Jesus and asking for money for it. Judas is an interesting character. In Matthew’s gospel he meets his end by hanging, which some think is connected to Ahitophel hanging himself in the Old Testament after betraying King David, in the Acts of the Apostles Luke has him falling headlong and his entrails bursting all over the place. Perhaps the details were of little interest to the early writers, what mattered was the betrayal and a grim end that was deserved. Judas had followed Jesus from the start. He was trusted, he looked after the common purse, the treasurer of the disciples. Jesus never loses hope in him. He washes his feet at the Last Supper with the others. But John has him as a thief, a hypocrite, and one whom Satan had entered. A Gospel according to Judas, a Coptic manuscript, has been found from about 280 A.D. which says that Judas was only doing what he had to for salvation history to happen and he is named as a saint. So a mysterious figure renowned for that infamous kiss. But whatever the actual events, it is that kiss that begins the story of the Passion that we follow in these coming days.
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