Spy Wednesday: John Steen (Parish of Derriaghy)
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From Living Church Down and Connor
Holy Wednesday has been described in old Irish & English traditions as Spy Wednesday. Some other cultures refer to it as Black Wednesday or the Wednesday of Shadows. Even Judas’s surname Iscariot has come to mean betrayer, assassin or murderer.
When we hear Spy Wednesday we could be excused for thinking of it as a title for a thrilling movie. With Jesus and Judas as the main characters in this movie. We could judge Judas as a sneaky villain, betraying Jesus & denying his betrayal. We could give him a bad rap. But should he alone be the one to get the bad rap, really? In reality the main actors in this movie are you and I. This movie is about us.
We can be sneaky in our own ways and in our own denials. Maybe Judas’ ‘Surely, not I Lord’ can be mirrored in our lives in the simple and devious ways that Satan seeks to isolate us from God. Often times, like Judas, our denial makes the ‘sin’ easier to bare.
It is said that DENIAL is an acronym for “don’t even know I am lying”. At that moment did Judas try to fool himself that he wasn’t actually betraying Jesus? We’ll never know that but perhaps we can see how we try to fool ourselves that our actions are always laudable and worthy, when we sometimes fall into the same trap as Judas did.
As we travel through Lent, attentive to Masses online & prayers & in our worship and fellowship do we also falsely share trusting conversations with our brothers and sisters in faith, presenting ourselves as Holy and faithful and then in that same moment, criticise, judge and position ourselves above others. We deny the need to remove the log of hypocrisy from our own eye.
Some of us have thoughts of bigotry about other people or communities but in our minds, we defend them with some older ideals that make no sense- denying the sin of sectarianism.
There are denials for many in addictions such as alcohol or drugs, pornography. Do we addict ourselves to pain medication for example justifying it making us better but we deny our need for help to live healthily. Many may know that their relationship with God needs some tending to but tell themselves they are only drifting because this Corona Virus is causing the distraction. We deny falling away from God.
This sounds bleak. But this movie can have a different ending,
Jesus gives us a call to arms – to break the chains of sin and reach for him. Don’t amplify Judas’ betrayal of Jesus by our own actions. Let us not ignore or deny the sacrifice He made for us on the Cross. Let us commit to some concrete action to move closer to Jesus. We have this day as a chance for reflection, prayer and change; a gift from a God who never ceases to love us. This is our chance ....who says great movies can’t have good endings .....
Is there a difficulty in your life that you might be tempted to deny? What grace would you ask God for today to help you in your life?