May 2, 2024

The Judases of the Church (Fr. George Metallinos)

By Protopresbyter Fr. George Metallinos

1. Shortly before His triumphal entry into Jerusalem, Christ comes to Bethany. He visits His friend Lazarus and His other friends there on a farewell visit before His passion. Someone even invited Christ to dinner.
During the dinner, Lazarus' sister Mary, overwhelmed by the secret joy of the Lord's presence, lets her gratitude for her brother's resurrection overflow. So she takes a precious myrrh and anoints Christ's feet with it. And the quantity and quality of the myrrh show the love and devotion of the woman to the Master. That is why her initiative, which has the meaning of adoration and honor towards the Great Benefactor of mankind, Christ, would certainly emotionally move, as it still emotionally moves us today, as a manifestation of faith and reverence.

2. However, there is also someone who thinks differently. It is the dark Judas, who hastens to criticize the woman's actions. Unmoved by the magnificent spectacle of grateful love, cold and indifferent to the touching event, he lets his materialistic disposition show. However, he does not dare to reveal his true self. He covers the sterility of his heart with the veil of hypocrisy. He wears a mask, a phantasmagoric mask. It is the mask of a philanthropist and lover of the poor that is presented protesting (allegedly) on behalf of the poor. "Why was this myrrh not sold for three hundred denarii and given to the poor?"

His argument is apparently correct and fair. And it impresses. He condemns an unjust waste - but is it ever possible to consider what is offered to God in any way a waste! The words of Judas, heard in every era, has the power to shake the admiration for Mary's act. Because Judas manages for the moment, to present Mary's love as injustice, and her virtue as evil.

However, he is exposed by the sacred Evangelist: "This he said, not that he cared for the poor, but because he was a thief, and had the money box; and he used to take what was put in it." The absence of any possibility of a psychic relationship between Mary and Judas is clear. He pretends to be a lover of the poor ("as a pretense of piety," says Chrysostom), while in essence he does not think about and does not love anything other than himself. However, Mary revealed the richness of her soul, which is willing, thanks to Christ, to make any sacrifice. Selfishness and love are as far apart as day from night.

3. Within the life of the Church, the Mary types express those who sincerely believe in Christ, those who are devoted to Him with their entire lives, given to Him and live only for His sake. They are the "genuine members" of the Church. Those who accepted with their whole being the preaching of the gospel and try to regulate their lives accordingly. Those who accept Christ as the only King and Lord of their lives.

However, alongside these Christians, there are always Judases. Christians in name, who are not necessarily to be sought only among the laity! With a closer bond with the world and not with Christ. Covering themselves with various guises, even that of Christ's disciple and co-worker, like Judas. They supposedly fight for Christ and His gospel, while in essence they are completely strangers to it and hate it. Contemptuous of the mysteries of God, they do not know their regenerative power, because, callous and unfeeling, they never felt the need to repent. In fact, they do not hesitate to be materialists, Freudians and members of dark Societies and to present themselves as warm Christians in the eyes of people.

For all of them, the poor and struggling Christ does not touch any chord of their hearts. Because the only thing that has never been given by them to Christ is precisely their heart. That is why they will not hesitate at the first opportunity to betray Christ. Because they never believed in Him, but in themselves and deify their weaknesses and passions. They believe in Christ, only as much as is "necessary", in order to achieve, through the greed of His name, to have benefits and worldly successes, enviable careers and wealth.

4. However, these "Christians in name only" insist that they want, like Judas, to regulate the life and course of the Church, that is, those who genuinely believe in Christ. They are the modernists and ecumenists, who find nothing right in the life of God's faithful people. They want the Church tailored to their needs. To walk not according to the eternal will of their divine Founder, but according to their own desires and appetites.

They denounce piety as an exaggeration, the insistence on the faith and tradition of the Fathers as "pietism", they denounce temperance and reverence as monastic and they fight zeal and a brave attitude as "Talibanism" and extremism. These are Judases, stowaways on the Church's ship, who want to steal the genuineness of its rightful passengers. So the question arises. Will the faithful people of God tolerate Judases regulating their lives?

Our Christ Himself gives the answer with what He says to Judas. ""Leave her be," He replies. "Leave her be and don't control her. Do not prevent her from expressing her piety. Her love for her God. Don't mind her. Leave her be."

5. Judases of all ages, Christ is speaking to you. And He says to you: Leave My faithful people alone, My flock. Live in hypocrisy, in your interests and selfishness. Continue, if you want, your life, "deceiving and being deceived" in futility. But keep your hands off My faithful. Those few I have left in these apocalyptic times, all of you who exploit them. Who exploit My name, so that you can stand out and get rich. You who pervert My gospel, in order to undermine and do injustice. Be gone Judases from My Church, even if you pretend to teach the divine word. Even if you wear the form of a cleric, while you do not stop walking according to the desires of your hearts, and thus teach people the same.

Leave Mary alone. Every soul that accepts Me, as I really am, as God, i.e. truly Savior and Lord. Because only to these souls do I belong and only these souls constitute and express My Church genuinely and authentically.
It is a fact that above atheism, materialism, heresies and every proclaimed enemy of Christianity, there is no greater opponent of the Church than those who betray Christ to His enemies. From the Judases of the Church.

The words of our Christ to the political authority are very heavy: "They who handed Me over to you have the greater sin" (John 11).

BE GONE JUDASES... Yes, but let's not forget, my brethren! God does nothing without our will and - most importantly - without our hands...

6. A strange Cross is set up somewhere. For the crucified one, he has a body without arms. And at its base is hung an inscription with the words: "I have no hands other than yours..." Indeed, God has no hands other than ours. He acts in history - He wants and acts - with our own hands. With those hands, which bless the eucharistic bread and wine, so that it can be transformed into the immaculate despotic Body and Blood. God works with our own hands. As He sees with our eyes, and hears with our ears. He runs with our own feet. He speaks with our mouth, loves with our heart, fights with our soul!

If the drama of society is perpetuated, it is not due to God's indifference. It is because our members and our whole existence have not yet become "members of Christ" and "a new creation". It is because we have not yet become the hands, feet, eyes, ears, mouth, heart, soul of Christ. It is because we have not been baptized into Christ yet. And without Christ-formed Christians, the Judases do not go away, the Church does not win, nor does society transform!

Source: Translated by John Sanidopoulos.

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