Holy Week is like walking the labyrinth, the story always moving forward, yet doing so with twists and turns. Going back on itself, but inexorably moving towards the centre, towards a climax. You might say a revelation.
The stories of Holy Week and Easter are so familiar. We know the characters. We know the actions. We know what is going to happen. But can we gain new insights – into the story and into ourselves?
Walking the labyrinth with an open mind, moving steadily step by step, even as we twist and turn and pause for a moment, encourages reflection. It gets us in touch with ourselves and opens us up to possibilities. It takes us away from the familiar to a deeper understanding.
Betrayal is a major theme of the Holy week stories. By the Wednesday of Holy Week (known by the Irish as Spy Wednesday) Judas, the anti-hero of the drama, has featured in three, if not four of the Gospel readings since Palm Sunday. It is easy to demonise the betrayer. But what if we were able to walk with Judas and see something of ourselves in him?
The Eastern Church calls today “Great and Holy Wednesday”. For them, out of the clash between the extreme opposites of love and betrayal something wonderful and beautiful emerges, because Jesus looks Judas straight in the eye and allows things to unfold.