Wednesday of Holy Week
St. Agilulfus, bishop (†751/752). Bishop of Cologne, Germany, renowned for his preaching and holy life.
St. Balbina, virgin and martyr (†c. 130). Of noble birth, she received numerous marriage proposals, but remained faithful to her vow of virginity. She was imprisoned together with her father, by order of Emperor Hadrian, and beheaded after prolonged torture.
Blessed Joan of Toulouse, virgin (†fourteenth century). Noblewoman who met St. Simon Stock in Toulouse, France, and was received by him into the Carmelite Order. She is venerated as the first tertiary and cofounder of the Carmelite Third Order.
St. Benjamin, deacon and martyr (†c. 420). He was tortured and killed during the reign of Varahran V for persisting in preaching the Word of God in Persia.
St. Guy, abbot (†1046). Abbot of the Benedictine Monastery of Pomposa, and there welcomed many new followers, and rebuilt sacred edifices in that region. He died in Borgo San Donnino, Italy.
Blessed Bonaventure of Forli, priest (†1491). Servite priest who became the Vicar General of his Order. Pope Sixtus IV entrusted to him the preaching of missions in the Pontifical States, and by his preaching he moved great numbers to penance.
Blessed Christopher Robinson, priest and martyr (†1597). He ministered to oppressed Catholics in England during the Reign of Elizabeth I until, condemned for the crime of priesthood, he was hanged at Carlisle.
Blessed Natalia Tulasiewicz, martyr (†1945). Polish teacher who, during the German military occupation, voluntarily accompanied women from Poland to forced labour camps in Germany to give them spiritual aid. Discovered by the Gestapo, she was tortured and sent to the Rawensbruck concentration camp, where she was killed in the gas chamber.
First Reading – Is 50:4-9a
The Lord GOD is my help, therefore I am not disgraced; I have set my face like flint, knowing that I shall not be put to shame. He is near who upholds my right; if anyone wishes to oppose me, let us appear together. Who disputes my right? Let him confront me. See, the Lord GOD is my help; who will prove me wrong?
Responsorial Psalm – Ps 69:8-10, 21-22, 31 and 33-34 (R. 14c)
R. Lord, in your great love, answer me.
For your sake I bear insult,
and shame covers my face.
I have become an outcast to my brothers,
a stranger to my mother’s sons,
because zeal for your house consumes me,
and the insults of those who blaspheme you fall upon me. R.
Insult has broken my heart, and I am weak,
I looked for sympathy, but there was none;
for consolers, not one could I find.
Rather they put gall in my food,
and in my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink. R.
I will praise the name of God in song,
and I will glorify him with thanksgiving:
“See, you lowly ones, and be glad;
you who seek God, may your hearts revive!
For the LORD hears the poor,
and his own who are in bonds he spurns not.” R.
Gospel – Mt 26:14-25
One of the Twelve, who was called Judas Iscariot,
went to the chief priests and said,
“What are you willing to give me
if I hand Him over to you?”
They paid him thirty pieces of silver,
and from that time on he looked for an opportunity to hand Him over.
On the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread,
the disciples approached Jesus and said,
“Where do You want us to prepare
for You to eat the Passover?”
“Go into the city to a certain man and tell him,
‘The teacher says, My appointed time draws near;
in your house I shall celebrate the Passover with my disciples.’”
The disciples then did as Jesus had ordered,
and prepared the Passover.
When it was evening,
He reclined at table with the Twelve.
And while they were eating, He said,
“Amen, I say to you, one of you will betray Me.”
Deeply distressed at this,
they began to say to him one after another,
“Surely it is not I, Lord?”
He said in reply,
“He who has dipped his hand into the dish with Me
is the one who will betray Me.
The Son of Man indeed goes, as it is written of Him,
but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed.
It would be better for that man if he had never been born.”
Then Judas, his betrayer, said in reply,
“Surely it is not I, Rabbi?”
He answered, “You have said so.”