On the Sin of Judas

Pope St. Leo the Great ca. 400-461

To this forgiveness the traitor Judas could not attain: for he, the son of perdition, at whose right the devil stood, gave himself up to despair before Christ accomplished the mystery of universal redemption. For in that the Lord died for sinners, perchance even he might have found salvation if he had not hastened to hang himself. But that evil heart, which was now given up to thievish frauds, and now busied with treacherous designs, had never entertained anything of the proofs of the Saviour’s mercy. Those wicked ears had heard the Lord’s words, when He said, I came not to call the righteous but sinners Mat. 9:13, and The Son of man came to seek and to save that which was lost Lk. 19:10, but they conveyed not to his understanding the clemency of Christ, which not only healed bodily infirmities, but also cured the wounds of sick souls, saying to the paralytic man, Son, be of good cheer, your sins are forgiven you Mat. 9:3; saying also to the adulteress that was brought to Him, neither will I condemn you; go and sin no more , to show in all His works that He had come as the Saviour, not the Judge of the world. But the wicked traitor refused to understand this, and took measures against himself, not in the self-condemnation of repentance, but in the madness of perdition, and thus he who had sold the Author of life to His murderers, even in dying increased the amount of sin which condemned him. (Sermon 62.4)

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