The Deacon's Bench

The Deacon's Bench


Holy Week 2010: Spy Wednesday

posted by jmcgee

Some might wonder what, exactly, that is.

From Wikipedia:

406px-Kuss_des_judas.jpgIn Western Christianity, the Wednesday before Easter is sometimes known as “Spy Wednesday”, indicating that it is the day that Judas Iscariot first conspired with the Sanhedrin to betray Jesus for thirty silver coins.

This event is described in the three Synoptic Gospels: Matthew 26:14-16, Mark 14:10-12, Luke 22:3-6.

The Sanhedrin was gathered together and it decided to kill Jesus, even before Pesach if possible. In the meantime, Jesus was in Bethany, in the house of Simon the leper. Here he was anointed on the head by Mary, the sister of Martha and Lazarus, with very expensive ointment of spikenard. Some of the disciples were indignant about this; the oil could have been sold to support the poor. Judas went to the Sanhedrin and offered them his support in exchange for money. From this moment on Judas was looking for an opportunity to betray Jesus.

There are also some interesting customs:

* Poland: children traditionally hurled an effigy of Judas from the church steeple. It was then dragged through the village, pounded with sticks and stones and what was left of it was drowned in a nearby pond or river.
* Czech Republic: the day is traditionally called Ugly Wednesday, Soot-Sweeping Wednesday or Black Wednesday, because chimneys used to be swept on this day, to be clean for Easter.
* Malta: this day is known as L-Erbg?a tat-Tnieber (Drums’ Wednesday), in the past children went to the parish church and drummed on the chairs to make the sound of thunderstorms.



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Holy Cannoli

posted March 31, 2010 at 7:50 am


Legend has it that Judas hung himself from the Cercis siliquastrum also known as the “Judas Tree.” Native to the Mediterranean region with brilliant deep pink flowers that bloom in the spring. These flowers are said to have blushed in shame after Judas’s suicide.
Although unconfirmed, in Sicily an effigy of Judas is shot twice in the back of the head then tossed into the Sea. The locals chant “Judas sleeps with the fishes” and then have a nice meal of fried Calamari and Clam soup followed, of course, by fresh Cannoli. :-)



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Diakonos

posted March 31, 2010 at 10:53 am


On Spy Wednesday a Look at the Sins of the Clergy
from Msgr Pope of the Archdiocese of Washington
Wednesday of Holy Week is traditionally called “Spy Wednesday” since it is this day when Judas conspired with the Temple Leadership to hand Jesus over. He would accomplish his task the evening of the next day, but today he makes arrangements to hand Jesus over.
One way to reflect on this terrible sin is to reflect that Judas was among the first priests called by Jesus. We see in the call of the Apostles the establishment of the ministerial priesthood. Jesus called these men to lead his Church and minister in his name. But one of these priests went wrong, terribly wrong, and turned against the very one he should have proclaimed. Among the other “first priests” we also see great weaknesses evident. Peter in weakness denied Jesus, though he repented later. All the others except John fled at the time of the passion. And so here we see the “sins of the clergy” made manifest. Christ did not call perfect men. He promised to protect his Church from officially teaching error but this does not mean that there is no sin in the Church and among those who are called to lead. The story of Judas shows that even among those who were called, one went terribly wrong.



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