Today is unofficially known as “Spy Wednesday” on the Church calendar because the Gospel reading recounts the story of Judas’s betrayal. I spent this Lent doing the 30-day Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius Loyola, and, for me, the most moving part of the retreat was contemplating the Lord’s Passion, in which, through the liturgy, we participate during Holy Week.
There is much to say about the retreat and much to say about Holy Week–but having been away for over a month, I also have a fair bit of catching up to do. So for now, I’ll share just one thought.
Until we reach Easter Sunday, this week is incredibly dark. Judas is present at the Last Supper and his impending betrayal colors everything else. Even before the Lord’s arrest, Jesus suffers because of his disciple’s mendacity. Peter’s courage and good intentions fail. The physical torture–scourging, beating, the nails, exposure and slow suffocation on the cross–is inhuman, enough to turn one’s stomach just thinking about it. And then, the cravenness of Pilate, the calculated cruelty of Jerusalem’s religious leaders, the callous and fickle crowd. What is most sobering of all is the realization that there is some of Judas and Pilate and Peter in each one of us. The Lord suffers for our sins.Continue reading “Light in Holy Week”