Wednesday- The Jews, Judas, and Satan, Our God and Lord, Christ betrayal, and the day of sweet aroma

Kyrieeleison ! O, Lord Have mercy! Kyrieeleison.

Based on Church Holy Tradition, On Wednesday of Passion week we see the course of the devil’s spite and the result of his crafty plans against Christ.  The devil had implanted in the leaders of the Jewish synagogue envy against Christ, which event leads to murder. This disorder always leads, so to speak, to the guilt of murder.  At least, this is the natural course of this vice. It was the way with Cain and Abel, and it clearly was so in the case of Joseph and his brothers. The divine Paul also very clearly makes these sins neighbors and relatives of one another.  He spoke of some as full of envy and murder. [Rom. 1:29]

The Jewish leaders sought to murder Jesus at the instigation of Satan, who had implanted this wickedness in them and who was their captain in their wicked projects.  Satan is himself the inventor of murder, the root of sin and the fountain of all wickedness. Since Sunday, day of Hosanna where the people accepted Our Lord as a King, the religious leaders were meeting day after day on how they could kill the lord. They reached a final decision on Wednesday. They said no one could inform us about His whereabout except Judas, His disciple. So they agreed with Judas to pay him if he leads them to Jesus Christ. This consultation was on Wednesday and that is why the apostles commanded us to fast every Wednesday. The Story is written in the bible as follows: –

Then one of the twelve, called Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests and said, “What are you willing to give me if I deliver Him to you?” And they counted out to him thirty pieces of silver. So from that time he sought opportunity to betray Him. [Mt. 26:14]

“My son”, Said King Solomon, “if sinners entice you, don’t consent” [Proverb 1] . He is referring to those who consented to kill the Lord Jesus Christ. Satan has darkened their minds and they were deceived by their foolishness. They did evil and saw it right. Pontius Pilate knew the truth that Our Lord is innocent. He then take long in washing his hand from Jesus Christ’s blood. But Judas he was with the Lord all the time, he saw all His deed -raised three from the dead in front of him, heard the works and warning about sin, he still remained in his sin of greed. How amused that the creature sells the Creator!.Even though he was with the Lord, his heart was far away from Him. “so are the way of greedy for gain; it takes away the life of its owner” One may ponder that if it was necessary for the Lord Christ to be  delivered to the Jews to be crucified [if not through Judas, it would have been through someone else], and if the Holy scripture describe in great detail Judas’ action, how did he sin, and why did he perish? The response is that our Omniscient omnipresent God preceded and revealed to His servants the prophets the life events of the Savior on earth – beginning from the Annunciation of the Angel to the Virgin until His Ascension to heaven and the descent of the Holy Spirit. All who treated the Lord Christ, whether with good or evil deed, did so freely; not by force or compulsion. God foreknowledge was not  the cause of people actions. All the prophecies concerning Judas, Judas fulfilled freely, and willfully accomplished – was the author of his life choice, which made without coercion.

Why did Satan rather not enter blessed Peter, James or John, or some other of the rest of the apostles?  Why Judas Iscariot? What did Satan find in him?  Stan could not approach any of these we have mentioned here, because their heart was steadfast and their love to Christ immovable. There was a place for Stan in the traitor. The bitter disease of greed, which the blessed Paul says is the root of all evil [1 Tim. 6:10], had overpowered him.  Satan is crafty in working evil.  Whenever he gains possession of anyone’s soul, he does not attack him by means of general vice.  He rather searches for that particular passion that has power over him and by its means makes him his prey. Judas lost heaven for a little silver.  He missed the crown of immortality and the desirable honor of the apostleship. He missed to be numbered among the twelve to whom Christ somewhere said, “You are the light of the world.” [Mt. 5:14].

Today we also focus and compare a fallen, a sinful harlot who repent and saved to, Judas, a chosen who is lost. The one gives her wealth to Christ and kisses His feet; the other betrays Christ for money with  a kiss. Mary gave out of her heart; Judas had criticized her out of his selfishness. Mary sacrificed her life and all her money for Christ; Judas stole from the moneybox and betrayed Him for 30 silver coins. Mary acted out of loyalty, Judas out of betrayal; He thought of money, while forgetting about the lord. Mary is serving the poor through the Lord; Judas is preventing and discouraging service to both.

O, Lord You thought us we could have held many things in our life- like success, beauty, money [though we think it is ours] and we could lost them all in  a blink; however whatever we have placed in Your hand, like that of harlot’s tear and perfume, that we still possess.

“Lord, I give myself to you; my God, I trust you. Do not let me be disgraced, like Judas; No one who trusts You will be disgraced, but those who sin without excuse will be disgraced. Lord, tell me your ways. Show me how to live. Guide me in your truth, and teach me, my God, my Savior. I trust you all day long. Lord, remember your mercy and love that you have shown since long ago. Do not remember the sins and wrong things I did when I was young. But remember to love me always because You are good, Lord. The Lord is good and right; He points sinners to the right way. The Box or jar of precious ointment had to be broken to release the fragrance. As one saint said, “ I offered Jesus a broken heart; He took it and gave me a new one and a beautiful life”. Broken to be more beautiful, more saintly, more humble, more open to God’s grace. O Lord! Break me a little in order to make a space for You in my heart to let the fragrance of Your love pour into and out of me to others. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.  Please! O Lord, give me the will to repent truly and a heart that is broken from sin so that i would become a vessel cleansed and ready to be used by You.”

O God, Create in me a clean heart,

and renew a right spirit within me.

Cast me not away from your presence,

and take not your Holy Spirit from me.

Restore to me the joy of your salvation,

and uphold me with a willing spirit.[psalm 51]

Kirialyson! O, Lord have mercy! Kirialyson!

Article based on Saint Cyril of Alexandria: Commentary on Luke, Homily 140 and others