The Hand of the Betrayer
- About the hand of the betrayer
Saint Nikolai Velimirovic
"And yet behold, the hand of the one who is to betray Me is with Me on the
table"(St. Luke 22:21).
It is most difficult for a general to wage war when he has an enemy within
the camp; not only external enemies, but internal enemies among his own.
Judas was considered among his own. However, he was the enemy from within.
Rows of enemies crowded and closed ranks around Christ and, from within,
Judas was preparing betrayal. His hand was on the table which Christ
blessed, and his thoughts were aligned with the enemies where darkest evil,
hatred and malice seethed against the gentle Lord.
Is it not also the same today, that the hand of the many traitors of Christ
are at the table with Him? Which table is not Christ's? On what table are
not His gifts? He is the Householder and He nourishes and feeds His guests.
The guests have nothing of their own, nothing! All good and all abundance
which is given to them is given to them by the hand of Christ. Therefore,
is it not so that Christ is present at every table as a Householder and as
a Servant? Therefore, are not those also the hands of all who even today
betray Christ on the table together with Him? They eat His bread and they
speak against Him. They warm themselves by His sun and they slander His
name. They breathe His air and they rise up against His Church. They live
off His mercy and they banish Him from their homes, from their schools,
from their courts, from their books and from their hearts. They trample His
commandments willfully, maliciously and ridicule His law. Are they n! ot
then the betrayers of Christ and the followers of Judas? Do not be afraid
of them! God did not command that we be afraid of them but wait to see
their end. Our Lord was not afraid of Judas nor is He afraid of all the
traitorous hordes until the end of time. He knows their end and He already
has His victory in His hands. Therefore, do not you be afraid either.
Adhere faithfully to Christ the Lord, both when it appears to you that His
causes succeed and go forward in the world and then, again, when it appears
to you that His causes collapse and perish. Do not be afraid! If you become
frightened, perhaps your hand will be found clenched under the hand of
Judas at the table of Christ.
O Lord, All-Victorious, sustain us with Your power and mercy.
To You be glory and thanks always. Amen.
To our personal enemies, according to Christ's commandment, we must forgive
everything, but with the enemies of God we cannot have peace! Friendship
with the enemies of God makes us ourselves the enemies of God: this is a
betrayal and treason towards God, under whatever well-seeming pretexts it
might be done, and here no kind of cunning or skillful self-justification
can help us! Archbishop Averky