In this lesson, we study Judas Iscariot and the betrayal of Christ on the Wednesday of Holy Week, called Spy Wednesday.
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“The Judas Kiss,” (Mark 14:45) by Gustave Doré
This section is excerpted from Fish Eaters.
In the Old Testament Joseph, who prefigured Christ, was betrayed by his older brother, Judah—the father of the tribe whence came King David and through which the Messianic prophecies were fulfilled—when Judah sold Joseph into slavery in Egypt for so many shekels of silver (see Genesis 37-38, and also Psalm 68:2-29 and Acts 1:13-20).
From that tribe of Judah came Our Lord, Who was betrayed by another Judah, a man who is more commonly known as Judas Iscariot (“Iscariot” refers to Kerioth, a town in Judea). This Judas handled the money for the Apostles and became offended by the extravagance of Mary Magdalen’s gesture of love toward Jesus:
Jesus therefore, six days before the pasch, came to Bethania, where Lazarus had been dead, whom Jesus raised to life. And they made him a supper there: and Martha served: but Lazarus was one of them that were at table with him. Mary therefore took a pound of ointment of right spikenard, of great price, and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped his feet with her hair; and the house was filled with the odour of the ointment.
Then one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, he that was about to betray him, said: Why was not this ointment sold for three hundred pence, and given to the poor? Now he said this, not because he cared for the poor; but because he was a thief, and having the purse, carried the things that were put therein.
Jesus therefore said: Let her alone, that she may keep it against the day of my burial. For the poor you have always with you; but me you have not always.
John 12:1-8 1
Immediately after this, Judas met with the chief priests to betray Our Lord for thirty pieces of silver. Here is St. Matthew’s version of history:
And when Jesus was in Bethania, in the house of Simon the leper, There came to Him a woman having an alabaster box of precious ointment, and poured it on His head as He was at table.
And the disciples seeing it, had indignation, saying: To what purpose is this waste? For this might have been sold for much, and given to the poor.
And Jesus knowing it, said to them: Why do you trouble this woman? for she hath wrought a good work upon me. For the poor you have always with you: but me you have not always. For she in pouring this ointment upon my body, hath done it for my burial. Amen I say to you, wheresoever this gospel shall be preached i... Please purchase this lesson to continue learning.
Holy Wednesday (Spy Wednesday) is part of the following course(s):