Tag Archives: Judas Iscariot

St. John Chrysostom: On the Betrayal of Judas (Excerpt 1)

Icon of St. John ChrysostomThen one of the twelve, called Judas Iscariot, went unto the chief priests, and said unto them, What will ye give me, and I will deliver Him unto you? (Matt. 26:14–15). These words seem to be clear and not to hint at anything more, but if you carefully examine each word, you will find deep meaning and a great deal to contemplate. First, the time. The Evangelist does not indicate it without cause. He does not simply say, “One of the twelve went,” but adds, Then one of the twelve … went. Then. Tell me, when? And why does he indicate the time? What does he want to teach me? He does not say Then for no reason: speaking by the Spirit, he does not say anything at random or to no end. Therefore, what does this “then” mean? Before that time, before that hour, a harlot came with an alabaster box of ointment and poured the oil onto the head of the Lord. She displayed great service; she displayed great faith, great obedience, and great piety. She was turned from her former life and became better and wiser. And when the harlot had repented, when she had been drawn to the Master, then the disciple betrayed his Teacher. Thus the Evangelist said then, so that you not accuse the Teacher of weakness when you see the disciple betraying Him. For the power of the Teacher was such that He drew even harlots to proper obedience.

Why then, you say, was He Who won over harlots not able to win over His disciple? He had the power to win over His disciple, but He did not wish to make him good by force or to forcibly draw him to Himself. Then [he] went. In this “went” there is not a little matter for contemplation: for he was not summoned by the chief priests, he was
not constrained or forced. Rather, of himself and of his own accord, he gave birth to his intention and brought forth his treachery, without any counselor in his wickedness.

– St. John Chrysostom, On the Betrayal of Judas

Read the entire homily

 

Bridegroom Matins: Oh, the wretchedness of Judas! . . .

Icon of Betrayal of ChristOh, the wretchedness of Judas!
He saw the harlot kiss the footsteps of Christ,
but deceitfully he contemplated the kiss of betrayal.
She loosed her hair while he bound himself with wrath.
He offered the stench of wickedness instead of myrrh,
for envy cannot distinguish value.
Oh, the wretchedness of Judas!
Deliver our souls, from this, O God.

+ Praise Verses of Bridegroom Matins of Holy Wednesday

Bridegroom Matins: As the sinful woman was bringing her offering of myrrh . . .

JesusAs the sinful woman was bringing her offering of myrrh,
the disciple was scheming with lawless men.
She rejoiced in pouring out her precious gift.
He hastend to sell the precious one.
She recognized the Master, but Judas parted from Him.
She was set free, but Judas was enslaved to the enemy.
How terrible his slothfulness!
How great her repentance!
O Savior, who didst suffer for our sakes,
grant us also repentance, and save us.

+ Praise Verses of Bridegroom Matins of Holy Wednesday

Bridegroom Matins: Judas loves money with his mind. . . .

Icon of Betrayal of ChristJudas loves money with his mind.
The impious one moves against the Master.
He wills and plans the betrayal.
Receiving darkness, he falls from the light.
He agrees to the price and sells the priceless one.
A payment for the deeds the wretch gains hanging and a terrible death.
From his lot deliver us, O Christ God, granting remission of sins to those who celebrate Thine immaculate passion with love.

+ Kathisma Hymn (Tone 8) of Bridegroom Matins of Holy Tuesday

St. John Chrysostom: Let us not then make ourselves unworthy of entrance into the bride-chamber . . .

Icon of St. John ChrysostomLet us not then make ourselves unworthy of entrance into the bride-chamber: for as long as we are in this world, even if we commit countless sins it is possible to wash them all away by manifesting repentance for our offenses: but when once we have departed to the other world, even if we display the most earnest repentance it will be of no avail, not even if we gnash our teeth, beat our breasts, and utter innumerable calls for succor, no one with the tip of his finger will apply a drop to our burning bodies, but we shall only hear those words which the rich man heard in the parable ‘Between us and you a great gulf has been fixed.’ [Luke xvi. 26]

Let us then, I beseech you, recover our senses here and let us recognize our Master as He ought to be recognized. For only when we are in Hades should we abandon the hope derived from repentance: for there only is this remedy weak and unprofitable: but while we are here even if it is applied in old age itself it exhibits much strength. Wherefore also the devil sets everything in motion in order to root in us the reasoning which comes of despair: for he knows that if we repent even a little we shall not do this without some reward. But just as he who gives a cup of cold water has his recompense reserved for him, so also the man who has repented of the evils which he has done, even if he cannot exhibit the repentance which his offenses deserve, will have a commensurate reward. For not a single item of good, however small it may be, will be overlooked by the righteous judge. For if He makes such an exact scrutiny of our sins, as to require punishment for both our words and thoughts, much more will our good deeds, whether they be great or small, be reckoned to our credit at that day.

Wherefore, even if thou art not able to return again to the most exact state of discipline, yet if thou withdraw thyself in a slight degree at least from thy present disorder and excess, even this will not be impossible: only set thyself to the task at once, and open the entrance into the place of contest; but as long as thou tarriest outside this naturally seems difficult and impracticable to thee. [Matt. xxv. 34; 249 Luke xvi. 26]. For before making the trial even if things are easy and manageable they are wont to present an appearance of much difficulty to us: but when we are actually engaged in the trial, and making the venture the greater part of our distress is removed, and confidence taking the place of tremor and despair lessens the fear and increases the facility of operation, and makes our good hopes stronger.

For this reason also the wicked one dragged Judas out of this world lest he should make a fair beginning, and so return by means of repentance to the point from which he fell. For although it may seem a strange thing to say, I will not admit even that sin to be too great for the succor which is brought to us from repentance. Wherefore I pray and beseech you to banish all this Satanic mode of thinking from your soul, and to return to this state of salvation.

+ St. John Chrysostom, An Exhortation to Theodore After His Fall, Letter 1