Holy Wednesday Devotional
Today we sit on the roller coaster of Holy Week at its apex, awaiting the rapid plunge into the dark depths ahead. For throughout tomorrow and Friday we will join with Christ at the Supper, then go with him to the Garden, to Pilate, to Golgotha, and to the grave. On Saturday we will sit in the depths of the tomb, awaiting the hope Sunday morning brings of resurrection. But today we are on the edge of the precipice. Today we remember Satan’s entering into Judas and his agreeing to betray Jesus (Luke 22:3-6).
Judas’ story reminds us that mere proximity to Jesus and his people does not make one a Christian. While none of the twelve understood Jesus’ mission at this stage, Judas seemed less willing than all to trust. He loved money, ostensibly more than any devotion he had for Christ (John 12:6). While the others could be faulted for falling asleep, falling away, and/or denying, Judas was absent entirely. While Peter was later able to repent and receive Jesus’ freely offered reconciliation, Judas would only know regret, shame, and despair. Judas had clearly followed in the footsteps of the wilderness generation, having a hard heart toward the Lord (Heb 3:7-8). Judas’ betrayal of Christ should prompt us, on this eve of the Triduum, to search our hearts to see where our devotions lie.
While the next few days will inevitably further convict us of our sins and their grave effects, I encourage everyone reading this to spend some time in prayer today, and in each day following, joining with David in praying the close of Psalm 139: “Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting!”
Assist us mercifully with your grace, Lord God of our salvation, that we may enter with joy upon the meditation of those mighty acts by which you have promised us life and immortality; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.