“Today, the Master shows His disciples an example of humility: He Who wraps the heavens in clouds, girds Himself with a towel; He Who holds all life in His hands, kneels down to wash the feet of His servants. O long suffering Lord, glory to You.
– Even my dearest friend, whom I trusted, who ate of my bread, has lifted up his heal against me. (Ps 41)
Today Judas lays aside his outward pretence of love for the poor; he no longer even seems concerned for the needy as he openly displays his greed for money. As he desired to sell the sinful woman’s oil of myrrh, now he seeks to sell the heavenly myrrh itself, ready to take the silver pieces and be off. Unable as he is to accept the Lord for whom He truly is, in his greed for the profit of the sale and in his frightful turmoil he concludes the transaction. From such a faith deliver us, O Lord!
– Whenever she comes to visit, she pretends sympathy, but her mind gathers mischief and slander, and when she goes outside she gossips freely. (Ps 41)
You are treacherous and deceitful, O miserable and evil-minded Judas! Because you are sick with the love of money, you have come to despise mankind. If riches mean so much to you, why become the disciple of the One Who teaches poverty? Why even pretend to be His follower! But if your love is truly for Him, how can you betray Him? How can you sell Him for money and hand Him over to be murdered? Let the sun tremble and let the moon weep, let all the earth quake and groan, and let all creation cry out with us: O long-suffering Lord, glory to You!” (Troparia of Holy Thursday)
To remember Judas for for the crime he committed is proper. It is also easy, often to easy. I find that it is with ease that I project my own participation in the betrayal and murder of our Lord on Judas, Herod, the Pharisees and Pilate. Yet deep down I know that I also, on numerous accounts have betrayed my Lord. When I deny Him like Peter, when I commit sins that I know are wrong. When my lack of love and concern for others takes over my priorities. When I let greed fester in my heart. The only thing I know that I can do to transform this pseudo, luke warm reality residing in me is to let Him wash my heart clean. To accept His sacrifice in His broken body and in His blood. The hour for this sacrifice draws near.
Let us go in holy silence! And in anticipation, let us watch and wait!