The end is approaching. Jesus experienced that triumphant entry into the holy city last Sunday and for the last three days has been staying with his friends in Bethany, which is suburban Jerusalem. However, the clock is running out.
For centuries, the Church has called Wednesday of Holy Week “Spy Wednesday” because it is on this day that the Gospel excerpt of Matthew tells about Judas’ final betrayal. He asks the chief priests, “What are you willing to give me if I hand him over to you?” They gave him 30 pieces of silver. My guess is that this was the most awesome business transaction in human history. The Lord of Creation, God present in the human story, is bartered for a handful of change. The transaction is so bizarre that I don’t think we can really grasp it. However, my guess is that when we turn away from Jesus, once we know his love for us and what he has done for us, we all, in some limited sense, are like Judas, at the Lord’s Supper, which will occur tomorrow on Thursday evening. Judas who actually accuses himself, “Surely it is not I Rabbi.” And Jesus answered, “It is you who have set it.”
Are we not in a comparable position? Don’t we have to accuse ourselves of having failed so many times to do the good to which we are committed? But enough of that. It is true that Friday will remind us of a grim historic moment in the human story, but far more important is the joy of the Resurrection, which is just beyond Good Friday, a joy in which we are invited to celebrate right now and for all eternity.
Let us go forward.