Semune Himamat: Wednesday

Kyrieeleison! O, Lord Have mercy! Kyrieeleison.

Kyrieeleison! Wednesday- The Jews, Judas, and Satan [Our God and Lord, Christ betrayal]

On Wednesday of Holy Week, two things took place 1. Satan enters Judas, who seeks out the Jewish authorities in order to betray Jesus for a price. 2. Mary had lovingly anointed Jesus with expensive perfume. Today is a day of extremes, a day of Love and Betrayal. In remembrance of the events of this day, we fast almost every single Wednesday of the year. On this day, two people are given the same opportunity but decide to take two very different paths.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 even 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.

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 an opportunity to betray Him. [Mt. 26:14]

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?  Satan could not approach any of these we have mentioned here because their heart was steadfast and their love for Christ immovable.  There was a place for Satan 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 being 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. Now let us compare these two: 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 money box 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.

This is the day when one lowly and unknown woman become memorialized forever and one of Christ’s chosen disciples becomes a traitor. Judas sought an opportunity to betray Jesus with a kiss, (according to church tradition, kisses and greetings are not allowed until the end of Liturgy on Bright Saturday, to remember the betrayal of Christ by Judas with a kiss)
Thus Mary and Judas have made their choices. It’s our turn. “Choose this day whom you will serve.”–Joshua 24:15.

Will you serve money like Judas did? Will you serve people? Will you serve lust, addiction, or fear? Or will you serve “The everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth?” –Is 40:28

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 lose 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.

Dn Medhanie

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