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Wednesday of Holy Week

Wednesday April 16, 2025

Daily Mass Readings for Wednesday of Holy Week

  • First Reading - Isaiah 50:4-9a: The LORD has granted me eloquence and resilience. Daily, He instructs me, and I've faced adversity without retreat. With God as my defender, I stand unashamed and ready to face any accuser, assured of my vindication.
  • Responsorial Psalm - Psalm 69: Enduring scorn for devotion to God, feeling isolated even among kin, my zeal mirrors the trials faced for His name. Amidst sorrow, I find no solace among men, yet in praising God, I find joy and assurance that He hears the afflicted.
  • Gospel - Matthew 26:14-25: Judas Iscariot negotiated with the chief priests to betray Jesus for thirty pieces of silver. During the Passover meal, Jesus disclosed that one of the Twelve would betray him, causing distress among the disciples. Each wondered if he was the betrayer. When Judas inquired if it was he, Jesus confirmed his betrayal.

They paid him thirty pieces of silver, and from that time on he looked for an opportunity to hand him over.

Matthew 26:15-16

Themes for the Readings for Wednesday of Holy Week

Wednesday of Holy Week, often referred to as Spy Wednesday, presents themes of betrayal, obedience, and the suffering servant. These readings from Isaiah and Matthew bring to light the stark contrasts and profound truths leading up to Jesus' crucifixion. Here's a breakdown of the key themes:

  • Betrayal: The Gospel reading vividly depicts the betrayal of Jesus by Judas Iscariot, one of His own disciples. This act of betrayal for thirty pieces of silver sets the stage for the events of the Passion. It serves as a meditation on the nature of betrayal and its consequences, not only in the story of Jesus but in our personal relationships as well.
  • Obedience and Submission to God's Will: Isaiah's prophecy in the First Reading speaks of a servant who listens to God's instruction and does not turn back in the face of suffering. This mirrors Jesus' own obedience to the Father's will, even unto death. It's a call for us to listen to God's voice in our lives and to follow His will with courage and trust, even when the path leads through suffering or difficulty.
  • The Suffering Servant: Isaiah's passage is part of the "Servant Songs" that depict the suffering servant, a figure Christians understand as prefiguring Christ. This servant suffers not for his own faults but for the sake of others. The theme of the suffering servant invites reflection on the meaning of Jesus' suffering and how it brings redemption and vindication.
  • Divine Justice and Vindication: Isaiah speaks of standing firm with the Lord's help, facing adversaries without fear of being put to shame. This reflects a deep trust in God's justice and the ultimate vindication of the righteous. In the context of Holy Week, it reminds us of Jesus' resurrection as the ultimate vindication of His perfect obedience and innocence.
  • Discernment and Self-examination: The disciples' distress and self-questioning at the Last Supper, wondering "Is it I, Lord?" who will betray Jesus, invites us to examine our own fidelity and openness to God. It's a call to discernment and honesty in our relationship with God and with others.

These themes for Wednesday of Holy Week guide our reflection on the depth of Jesus' passion and the complexity of human freedom, sin, and redemption. They challenge us to confront our own betrayals, small or large, and to seek to live in the obedience and trust that Jesus exemplified.

Thoughts for Wednesday of Holy Week

The gospel for Wednesday of Holy Week tells the story of Jesus' betrayal by Judas Iscariot. In this passage, we see the intimate setting of the Last Supper, where Jesus is gathered with his disciples to share a meal before his crucifixion. As they are eating, Jesus announces that one of them will betray him. Judas responds by asking if it is him, and Jesus confirms that it is.

This passage invites us to reflect on the reality of betrayal in our lives. Like Judas, we may have moments of weakness and be tempted to betray the ones we love. We may be tempted to act out of self-interest or to gain something for ourselves, even if it means hurting those around us.

At the same time, we can take comfort in Jesus' response to Judas. Despite knowing that Judas would betray him, Jesus did not condemn him. Instead, he offered him a place at the table and continued to love him.

This reminds us of the unconditional love and forgiveness that God offers us. No matter how far we may stray or how badly we may mess up, God is always ready to welcome us back and offer us a place at the table. We are called to extend this same love and forgiveness to others, even when they hurt us.

As we reflect on this gospel for Wednesday of Holy Week, let us examine our own lives and ask ourselves if there are any ways in which we may be betraying those around us. Let us also remember that, no matter what we may have done, we are always welcome at God's table. May we seek to extend this same love and forgiveness to others, just as Jesus did for Judas.


Dear Lord, may we recognize any ways in which we need to see the consequences of our actions and to make amends. Help us to extend love and forgiveness to others, just as you have offered it to us. Amen.

Homilies and Reflections for Wednesday of Holy Week

Word on Fire: Lamb of God

Bishop Robert Barron reflects on Wednesday of Holy Week, highlighting the Last Supper's connection to the Passover. Jesus, preparing for the Passover meal, signifies Himself as the Lamb of God, fulfilling John the Baptist’s prophecy. This act prefigures the Mass, where Jesus’ sacrifice is sacramentally present, not for God's benefit but for ours. Through the Mass, we partake in the divine reconciliation, consuming the body and blood of Christ, the ultimate sacrifice that bridges humanity with divinity.

USCCB Reflection: The Holy Meal

As Lent concludes, we enter Holy Week, reflecting on God's healing presence and our closeness to Him and others through His Word. Wednesday of Holy Week focuses on the Passover preparations, reminding us of Israel's transition from slavery to dignity. Jesus' announcement of betrayal at the Last Supper echoes the theme of human betrayal throughout salvation history, starting with Adam and Eve. However, Holy Week reveals that betrayal is not our final story; instead, God's mercy and love, culminating in Jesus' death and resurrection, offer us reconciliation and restored friendship with God.

Frequently Asked Questions for Wednesday of Holy Week

What date is Monday of the 3rd Week in Ordinary Time Cycle 2?

The next date is Wednesday April 16, 2025.

Cycle 1 is used in odd numbered years and Cycle 2 is used in even numbered years. The gospel is the same for both years. For odd numbered years see Monday of the 3rd Week in Ordinary Time Cycle 1.

What are the Mass readings for Monday of the 3rd Week in Ordinary Time Cycle 2?

The Mass readings for Wednesday April 16, 2025 are:
First Reading - Isaiah 50:4-9a: The Suffering Servant's Trust in God's Deliverance
Responsorial Psalm - Psalm 69: Hope in the Midst of Suffering
Gospel Matthew 26:14-25: The Betrayal of Jesus

Certainly! Here are some FAQs regarding Wednesday of Holy Week that incorporate the key themes and insights from the readings of the day:

What is the significance of Wednesday of Holy Week?

Wednesday of Holy Week, also known as Spy Wednesday, holds significant importance as it marks the day Judas Iscariot conspired to betray Jesus for thirty pieces of silver. This act of betrayal sets the stage for the unfolding of the Paschal Mystery, highlighting themes of betrayal, obedience, and divine justice as reflected in the day's readings.

Why is Wednesday of Holy Week called Spy Wednesday?

It's called Spy Wednesday because it commemorates Judas Iscariot's clandestine agreement to betray Jesus to the authorities. The term "spy" refers to the secretive and deceitful nature of Judas's actions, which were a betrayal of trust and loyalty to Jesus on the Wednesday of Holy Week.

How do the readings for Wednesday of Holy Week reflect its themes?

The readings for Wednesday of Holy Week, from Isaiah and Matthew, deeply reflect the themes of betrayal, obedience, and the suffering servant. Isaiah's prophecy highlights obedience and resilience in the face of suffering, prefiguring Jesus' own submission to God's will. The Gospel account of Judas's betrayal underscores the themes of treachery and the profound sorrow of betrayal among those closest to Jesus.

What can we learn from the themes of Wednesday of Holy Week?

The themes of Wednesday of Holy Week teach us about the depth of Jesus' sacrifice, the pain of betrayal, and the strength found in obedience to God's will. They invite us to reflect on our own lives, examining areas where we may be betraying God's trust in small or significant ways, and challenge us to embrace a posture of obedience and faithfulness in our daily walk with God.

How can we observe Wednesday of Holy Week in our daily lives?

Observing Wednesday of Holy Week in our daily lives can involve a time of quiet reflection and self-examination, identifying ways we may betray or fail to live up to our Christian calling. It's a day to meditate on the suffering of Christ and the path of obedience He modeled, seeking to cultivate a deeper trust in God's plan and justice, even in the face of personal trials or betrayals.

What is the message of hope in Wednesday of Holy Week?

Despite the themes of betrayal and suffering, Wednesday of Holy Week carries a message of hope through the promise of divine justice and vindication. It reminds us that, even in the darkest moments, God's plan is at work, leading to the ultimate victory of resurrection and new life. This hope encourages us to remain faithful and trust in God's loving providence, no matter the challenges we face.

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