When the glorious disciples were enlightened at the washing of their feet before the supper, then the impious Judas was darkened, ailing with avarice, and to the lawless judges he betrays Thee, the Righteous Judge. Behold, O lover of money, this man who because of money hanged himself. Flee from the greedy soul which dared such things against the Master. O Lord who art good towards all men, glory to Thee!Today we begin to walk the path of our Lord's Passion. We hear about Judas's betrayal. How often we tell ourselves as Peter did, O Lord, I would never betray you. I would rather die with you. The troparion reminds us how easy it is for us to fall into betraying the Lord. We commit so many small sins each day that we barely think about them. When we do, how often do we stop to think about the Lord, who does so much for us, whom we are indeed betraying?
-Troparion from Holy Thursday Matins
It is unlikely that any of us will ever stop sinning completely. However, the real lesson that Judas teaches us is that even if we fall, we must rise and cling more fervently to the Lord. Judas's betrayal could have been forgiven, but he lacked the faith in Jesus to approach and seek that forgiveness. Let us always remember that no matter how awful our sins seem to us if we seek the forgiveness of the Lord, it will be given to us.
As we begin the grueling walk of the Passion, let us appreciate the greatness of the Lord's sacrifice, but not be bogged down in hopelessness. Rather, let us look forward to the hope and promise the Lord gives us... a sublime day of rest is quickly approaching and will be followed just as quickly by the Lord's victorious Resurrection.