Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The Lord Comes to His Voluntary Passion

From the Praises:  The assembly of the Jews gathers together to deliver to Pilate the Maker and Creator of all.  What lawlessness!   What faithlessness!  The Judge of the living and the dead they prepare for judgment.  The Healer of suffering they prepare for sufferings. How great is Your mercy!  O long-suffering Lord, glory to You!

The transgressor Judas, O Lord, dipped his hand in the plate with You at supper.  But now, he unlawfully stretches forth his hand for silver.  He calculated the price of the woman’s myrrh, yet he does not shudder in selling You, the priceless One.  He let the Master wash his feet, yet he deceitfully kisses Him in betrayal to lawless men.  Cast out from the ranks of the Apostles, he casts away the thirty pieces of silver, not seeing the Resurrection on the third day.  By it, have mercy on us!

Judas, the treacherous deceiver, with a deceitful kiss betrayed the Lord and Savior.  He sold the Master as a slave to lawless men, and the Lamb of God, the Son of the Father, the only greatly merciful One, was led as a sheep to the slaughter.

Servant and deceiver, disciple and betrayer, friend and devil, Judas has been revealed by his deeds.  While following the Master, he plotted His betrayal.  He said to himself: “I shall betray him and gain the purse.”  He sought to have the myrrh sold and, by deceit, to have Jesus seized.
He gave the kiss and gave up the Christ.  But, like a sheep, led to the slaughter, so went the only compassionate Lover of mankind.

The Lamb, Whom Isaiah proclaimed, goes willingly to the slaughter; He gives his back to scourging, His cheeks to buffeting. He does not turn His face from the shame of spitting. He is condemned to a shameful death. He, Who is sinless, willingly submits to all to grant to all resurrection from the dead.


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