PALM SUNDAY READING: “BLESSED IS HE WHO COMES IN THE NAME OF THE LORD” (ST. ANDREW OF CRETE).
Dear brethren in Christ, as we begin the Holy Week with Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem, let us take heed of St. Andrew of Crete’s words so as to take advantage to its full the Paschal mystery of Our Lord, calling us to live a new life, abandoning the works of the “old man” in us and living in the new life which Our Lord gained for us, His Life! We are all called to follow Him so that we may identify ourselves with Him: holiness! As such, “Let us prostrate ourselves before him by being humble and by trying to live as he would wish.”
“When the people heard that Jesus was entering Jerusalem, they went out to meet him. Many spread their cloaks before him, while others took branches from the trees, as they cried aloud:
— Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.”
Below you have St. Andrew’s sermon in today’s Divine Office. May you have a real “Holy” Week ahead! Fr. Rolly Arjonillo
Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. Blessed is the king of Israel From a sermon by Saint Andrew of Crete, bishop
Let us go together to meet Christ on the Mount of Olives. Today he returns from Bethany and proceeds of his own free will toward his holy and blessed passion, to consummate the mystery of our salvation. He who came down from heaven to raise us from the depths of sin, to raise us with himself, we are told in Scripture, above every sovereignty, authority and power, and every other name that can be named, now comes of his own free will to make his journey to Jerusalem. He comes without pomp or ostentation. As the psalmist says: He will not dispute or raise his voice to make it heard in the streets. He will be meek and humble, and he will make his entry in simplicity.
Let us run to accompany him as he hastens toward his passion, and imitate those who met him then, not by covering his path with garments, olive branches or palms, but by doing all we can to prostrate ourselves before him by being humble and by trying to live as he would wish. Then we shall be able to receive the Word at his coming, and God, whom no limits can contain, will be within us.
In his humility Christ entered the dark regions of our fallen world and he is glad that he became so humble for our sake, glad that he came and lived among us and shared in our nature in order to raise us up again to himself. And even though we are told that he has now ascended above the highest heavens—the proof, surely, of his power and godhead—his love for man will never rest until he has raised our earthbound nature from glory to glory, and made it one with his own in heaven.
So let us spread before his feet, not garments or soulless olive branches, which delight the eye for a few hours and then wither, but ourselves, clothed in his grace, or rather, clothed completely in him. We who have been baptized into Christ must ourselves be the garments that we spread before him. Now that the crimson stains of our sins have been washed away in the saving waters of baptism and we have become white as pure wool, let us present the conqueror of death, not with mere branches of palms but with the real rewards of his victory. Let our souls take the place of the welcoming branches as we join today in the children’s holy song: Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. Blessed is the king of Israel.
Let us pray: Almighty ever-living God, who as an example of humility for the human race to follow caused our Savior to take flesh and submit to the cross, graciously grant that we may heed his lesson of patient suffering and so merit a share in his Resurrection. Who lives and reigns with you.
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