Wednesday, April 1, 2015

"Spy Wednesday" Pancakes and Me on TV

Yes, we had pancakes for dinner.

No, I did not have thirty of them. But I had a good batch, with butter and honey.

This peculiar bit of "Catholic humor" where people mark Judas's betrayal by eating pancakes is a joke that we don't quite get. Really, pancakes aren't even silver.

Oh well, pancakes are pancakes, and one needs only the slightest excuse to eat them. And perhaps this humor holds onto the wild hope that Judas opened his heart in that final impenetrable moment as the noose was squeezing his neck. We can be certain that even in that moment, nothing was lacking to the mystery of the Divine mercy.

Still, God did not create us to be puppets or slaves. He wants to empower us to love Him freely, but He will not force His way into our hearts. Though we cannot rule out a miracle of mercy in his final moment, we can perceive from what we do know of Judas how the human person falls apart when he turns away from God.

And who among us is immune from the temptation to turn traitor under the weight of the mysterious ways of God? Lord, have mercy on all of us, sinners!

This morning I got a message from a friend saying that the priest who gave the homily for the morning Mass broadcast on the Eternal Word Television Network had mentioned my name. This was followed up by some phone calls, so Eileen and I decided to watch the replay of the broadcast this evening.

When the priest began to talk about "John Janaro writing about Judas," I was surprised and also a little confused. I wondered, "When the heck did I write about Judas?" But he cited the text at length, and then I remembered that I had written the reflection for last year's Magnificat "Lenten Companion" for Wednesday of Holy Week.

He gave a fine homily that was based on the text I wrote. I'm glad those texts are still helpful. I probably have a book's worth of Magnificat reflections from these seasonal issues and from the Scripture commentaries.

Of course, Eileen and I both had that funny "gosh, wow" feeling that our generation (at least) still gets from being on actual television. The proliferation of new media platforms in recent years has not yet taken away the glow of that peculiar vanity that only broadcast television can stir up.

Objectively speaking, however, it was an interesting reflection I wrote for last year's Holy Wednesday, so I'll reproduce it below.