Today is Spy Wednesday and one of the more spiritually difficult days of the year in my opinion. While today’s Gospel passage is from John 13 , where we encounter Judas at the last supper with Jesus, the story from Matthew’s Gospel (Matthew 26:14-25 ) giving us the account of Judas’ betrayal of Jesus where he plans to hand him over to the chief priests in exchange for 30 pieces of silver is our focus here. We all know the story and for me, it is really hard to hear.
Here is a man who has been with Jesus since the beginning. He heard the words Jesus spoke, he listened to his teaching, he shared meals with him and witnessed the many miracles Jesus worked, and yet in Matthew 26:16 , it says, “and from that time on he looked for an opportunity to hand him over.” He is willing to just hand Jesus over to the men who want Him dead! It is shocking and sobering. Yet, how well, at times has this story represented the way I have treated my relationship with Christ?! How often have I been willing to give up my faith for those who want Jesus’ name unspoken?
As I reflected more on this one line I was struck by the wording of “looked for an opportunity.” That is what we, who are engaging in the new evangelization, are constantly asked to do. We are asked to look for that opportunity to share the way that Jesus Christ has changed our lives. It is striking that we, who also call ourselves disciples of Christ, who also spend time with him, read his words and ask him to speak to us and perform miracles in our lives and the lives of those we love (and often are witnesses of those miracles!) are presented today with a choice: look for opportunities to hand him over or look for opportunities to hand him on. Today, let’s take on the challenge to do reparation for the sins of Judas and look for the next opportunity to hand on the Good News of Jesus Christ.