Holy Wednesday


On Palm Sunday, we read the Passion of Christ for our Sunday Gospel. our palms were blessed with holy water and we sang Hosanna. This is one of those times during the Mass that many voices are heard: the narrator, the priest as Jesus, Peter and others voiced by one person and the crowd, voiced by the rest of the congregation. In my mind, when we are the ones calling for Christ’s crucifixion it is our reminder that we are all with sin and all seek salvation.

Christ dying for our sins isn’t a free pass to continue sinning; it is only the beginning of our salvation.

Throughout this Holy Week, the Gospels remind us of the difficult week that was in store for Jesus and his disciples.
In today’s homily our Deacon called it Silent Wednesday. When I went to look that up Google offered me the question, ‘why is the D in Wednesday silent?” Not quite, Google, but thank you for reminding me that wording is everything.

It is Silent Wednesday because we are unsure of what Jesus did on this Wednesday. There is no mention of his actions, although we assume this is when Judas put his betrayal into action. For that reason, it has also been called Spy Wednesday; spy having a slightly different meaning in ancient/medieval times and related to ambush. (There are a few Biblical scholars that have expressed the idea that the actual crucifixion took place on Wednesday, but I think that still needs some more research.)

For the modern Catholic, we look at Judas, the betrayer, the catalyst to Jesus’ crucifixion and wonder how as his friend, he could have done such a thing, betrayed his friend, his close friend. We can’t imagine any of us doing that to Jesus, and for me, it baffles the mind.

It causes me to think of the times I was betrayed or betrayed someone close to me. how did I feel? How did they? I know in one instance it took years of grudgingly thinking about this person before I finally dismissed it. I’m not sure if it’s forgiven, but it’s not as important in my life. I have a long memory and some grudges are really insignificant regardless of how much they hurt in the moment, even the later. moments.

I let go more now. I really do try to have no grudges. It’s hard. It’s human nature to blame someone else, and if they’re actually guilty, well, why not then?

But then I think – Jesus forgave Judas. He didn’t blame him personally. He forgave Peter for disavowing their friendship and hopefully Peter forgave himself.

Today is the day to think about that forgiveness and how hard it is and can be to forgive someone, to move forward in meaningful ways.

Reflect on those times you were forgiven and those times you forgave and try to hold the feelings of forgiveness and letting go in your heart on this quiet, Silent Wednesday.

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