Coptic Orthodox Diocese of the Southern United States
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"But behold, the hand of My betrayer is with Me on the table" (Luke 22:21).  I thought that Judas was not with them for the Holy Communion after the Passover Meal. Could you please explain the verse, and verify whether Judah was with them or not during the Eucharist.

Judas participated in the Passover meal, however there are two opinions whether Judas took communion or not. According to St. Mark the Evangelist "It is one of the twelve, who dips with Me in the dish" (Mk 14:20). The expression "dips with Me in the dish" matches the act of eating the Passover but not the partaking of the Body and Blood of our Lord, when the Lord Himself took bread, broke It and gave it to His disciples. In the first letter to the Corinthians "For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you: that the Lord Jesus on the same night in which He was betrayed took bread; and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, 'Take, eat; this is My body which is broken for you; do this in remembrance of Me.'" In the same manner He also took the cup after supper, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in My blood. This, do as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me" (1 Cor 11:23-25). This took place on the same night, after eating the Passover with the twelve; and after Judas had left them. "Jesus answered, 'It is he to whom I shall give a piece of bread when I have dipped it.' And having dipped the bread, He gave it to Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon. Now after the piece of bread, Satan entered him. Then Jesus said to him, 'What you do, do quickly.'...Having received the piece of bread, he then went out immediately. And it was night" (Jn 13:26-30).

St. John Chrysostom says, "Then, the Gospel says: as they were eating, Jesus took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to the disciples and said, Take, eat; this is My body. Then He took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink from it, all of you. For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins. (Mt 26:26-28). Judas was there when the Lord spoke these words. This is the blood, O Judas, which you sold for thirty pieces of silver! This is blood, for which you shortly before shamelessly bargained with the ungrateful Pharisees. O, the great mercy of Christ! O, the ingratitude of Judas! The Master nourished, and the slave betrayed. That one sold, having taken thirty pieces of silver, and Christ gave his own blood as a ransom for us, and he would have given it to the seller, if, of course, he wanted it, because Judas was there before the betrayal, he took part in the holy meal, and tasted the Last Supper."

St. Augustine says, "It must be understood that our Lord had already distributed the sacrament of His body and blood to all His disciples, among whom was Judas also, as Luke narrates: And after that, we came to this, where, according to the relation of John, our Lord, by dipping and handing the morsel, does most openly declare His betrayer."

Yet this is what St. Ephraim the Syrian says, "In the same way, the Lord, by means of water, separated Judas from His disciples when He gave him bread soaked in water (sop), because he was not worthy of that bread, which together with wine, was distributed to the twelve apostles. For it is not right that the one who betrayed Him to death [Judas], should receive in the form of bread, Him [Jesus] who saves from death."

Thus we can see there is no consensus among the church fathers whether Judas took communion or not and since this is not a dogmatic or doctrinal issue, everyone can believe in whatever he/she is comfortable with.
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