In some parts of the English-speaking world, today is called “Spy Wednesday.” An intriguing name, to say the least. It comes from the Gospel we read at today’s Mass—Matthew 26:14-25—which tells of Judas’s final betrayal of Jesus.
One of the Twelve, who was called Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests and said, “What are you willing to give me if I hand him over to you?” They paid him thirty pieces of silver, and from that time on he looked for an opportunity to hand him over.
On the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, the disciples approached Jesus and said, “Where do you want us to prepare for you to eat the Passover?” He said, “Go into the city to a certain man and tell him, ‘The teacher says, “My appointed time draws near; in your house I shall celebrate the Passover with my disciples.”‘” The disciples then did as Jesus had ordered, and prepared the Passover.
When it was evening, he reclined at table with the Twelve. And while they were eating, he said, “Amen, I say to you, one of you will betray me.” Deeply distressed at this, they began to say to him one after another, “Surely it is not I, Lord?” He said in reply, “He who has dipped his hand into the dish with me is the one who will betray me. The Son of Man indeed goes, as it is written of him, but owe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed. It would be better for that man if he had never been born.” Then Judas, his betrayer, said in reply, “Surely it is not I, Rabbi?” He answered, “You have said so.”
The Mass prayers and texts for Spy Wednesday bring to a close our final preparation for the Easter Triduum. At the Mass of the Lord’s Supper tomorrow evening, we will begin our slow and deliberate commemoration of the central events of our redemption. Therefore, on this last full day of Lent, let us ask the Holy Spirit to purify our minds and hearts, so that we may celebrate the Passion, Death, and Resurrection of Jesus with a clear conscience and a renewed spirit.
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in your plan of salvation
your Son Jesus Christ accepted the cross
and freed us from the power of the enemy.
May we come to share the glory of his resurrection,
for he lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, forever and ever. Amen.