Why is today known as Spy Wednesday?

Why is today known as Spy Wednesday?

...By Gift BADEWO for TDPel Media.

Judas betrays Jesus with a kiss, 14th-century fresco in the Collegiata of San Gimignano, Italy

What is Spy Wednesday?

Today, the Wednesday of Holy Week, is known as Spy Wednesday.


The term comes from the Gospel reading for today, in which Judas Iscariot betrays Jesus for 30 pieces of silver.

After receiving payment from the Jewish elders, Judas “spies” on Jesus, secretly plotting the best time to turn him over to the Sanhedrin.

Pope Francis also referred to the day as Spy Wednesday in his homily at a Mass on April 8, 2020.

The use of this term for this day appears to have originated in England and Ireland in the 1800s.

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The Gospel Reading for Today

Today’s reading is from the Gospel of Matthew, and it follows yesterday’s account from the Gospel of John in which Jesus predicts that one of his disciples will betray him.

In the reading from Matthew, Judas offers to hand over Jesus to the Jewish elders for 30 pieces of silver.


From that point on, Judas “spies” on Jesus, looking for the best time to turn him over.

The Significance of Spy Wednesday

Many use Spy Wednesday to reflect on Judas’ betrayal of Jesus and consider how it could happen to someone who was so close to Jesus.

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It is also an opportunity to reflect on our own relationship with Christ and whether we could ever turn away from him.

As Bishop Robert Barron observed, those of us who regularly gather around the table of intimacy with Christ but engage in works of darkness are meant to see ourselves in the betrayer.

In his general audience catechesis on the Twelve Apostles in 2006, Pope Benedict XVI also saw God using Judas’ betrayal as part of his plan for salvation, and it is up to each of us to counterbalance the evil done by unworthy and traitorous Christians with our clear witness to Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior.

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Spy Wednesday is a solemn day in Holy Week, as we reflect on Judas’ betrayal of Jesus and consider how we can remain steadfast in our faith.

It is a day to reflect on the importance of staying close to Jesus and avoiding the temptation to turn away from him, even in difficult circumstances.

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