Sunday, March 29, 2015

BLESSED HOLY WEEK

Lent is over and Holy Week begins with Palm (or Pussy Willow) Sunday, the Triumphal Entry of our Lord into Jerusalem. Thus, leading us to the Sacred Triduum, and the Feast of Feasts, Pascha, the Resurrection of Our Lord and Savior. Time to pause, reflect and prepare.  We'll resume posting again after Easter.  

As most folks who participate here are Catholic Christians, and this is the most sacred time of the liturgical year, let us lay aside all of our differences, gripes and grudges. "Behold; How good and pleasant it is when brethren dwell together in unity."  Let us seek forgiveness of those we have offended and forgive those who have offended us.  Let us pray for one another.

Those that I have hurt, offended or insulted, I ask your forgiveness and your prayers. 




It is right to praise you, Almighty God, for the acts of love by which you have redeemed us through your Son Jesus Christ our Lord. On this day he entered the holy city of Jerusalem in triumph, and was proclaimed as King of kings by those who spread their garments and branches of palm along his way. Let these branches be for us signs of his victory, and grant that we who bear them in his name may ever hail him as our King, and follow him in the way that leads to eternal life; who lives and reigns in glory with you and the Holy Spirit, now and for ever. Amen.

Hebrew children bearing branches of olive, went forth to meet the Lord, crying out, and saying: Hosanna in the highest!

Lift up your gates, O ye princes, and be ye lifted up, O eternal gates: and the King of Glory shall enter in! "Who is this King of Glory?" "The Lord of hosts, He is the King of Glory."

Almighty and everlasting God, who, of thy tender love towards mankind, hast sent thy Son, our Saviour Jesus Christ, to take upon him our flesh, and to suffer death upon the cross, that all mankind should follow the example of his great humility: Mercifully grant, that we may both follow the example of his patience, and also be made partakers of his resurrection; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.




Troparion of Palm Sunday, Tone 4
O Christ God, when we were buried with Thee in Baptism, we became deserving of Thy Resurrection to immortal life. Wherefore, we praise Thee, crying: Hosanna in the highest! Blessed is He that cometh in the Name of the Lord.

Kontakion of Palm Sunday, Tone 6
Upborne upon the heavenly throne, and seated upon the earthly foal, O Christ our God, receive the praises of angels and the hymns of men, exclaiming before Thee: Blessed is He that cometh to restore Adam.



2015 Palm Sunday Homily of Pope Francis


Sermon on the Entry of Our Lord into Jerusalem

Orthodox Metropolitan Anthony Bloom


In the Name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost.
Today Christ enters the path not only of His sufferings but of that dreadful loneliness which enshrouds Him during all the days of Passion week. The loneliness begins with a misunderstanding; the people expect that the Lord’s entry into Jerusalem will be the triumphant procession of a political leader, of a leader who will free his people from oppression, from slavery, from what they consider godlessness – because all paganism or idol-worship is a denial of the living God. The loneliness will develop further into the dreadful loneliness of not being understood even by His disciples. At the Last Supper when the Saviour talks to them for the last time, they will be in constant doubt as to the meaning of His words. And later when He goes into the Garden of Gethsemane before the fearful death that is facing Him, His closest disciples, Peter, John and James – whom He chose to go with Him fall asleep, depressed, tired, hopeless. The culmination of this loneliness will be Christ’s cry on the cross, “My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken me?” Abandoned men, rejected by the people of Israel He encounters the extreme of forsakenness and dies without God, without men, alone, with only His love for God and His love for mankind, dying for its sake and for God’s glory.
The beginning of Christ’s Passion is today’s triumphal procession; the people expected a king, a leader – and they found the Saviour of their souls. Nothing embitters a person so much as a lost, a disappointed hope; and that explains why people who could receive Him like that, who witnessed the raising of Lazarus, who saw Christ’s miracles and heard His teaching, admired every word, who were ready to become His disciples as long as He brought victory, broke away from Him, turned their backs on Him and a few days later shouted, “Crucify Him, crucify Him.” And Christ spent all those days in loneliness, knowing what was in store for Him, abandoned by every one except the Mother of God, who stood silently by, as she had done throughout her life, participating in His tragic ascent to the Cross; she who had accepted the Annunciation, the Good Tidings, but who also accepted in silence Simeon’s prophecy that a sword would pierce her heart.
During the coming days we shall be present – not just remember, but be present – at Christ’s Passion. We shall be part of the crowd surrounding Christ and the disciples and the Mother of God; as we hear the Gospel readings, as we listen to the prayers of the Church, as one image after another of these days of the Passion passes before our eyes, let each one of us ask himself the question, “Where do I stand, who am I in this crowd? A Pharisee? A Scribe? A traitor, a coward? Who? Or do I stand among the Apostles?” But they too were overcome by fear. Peter denied Him thrice, Judas betrayed Him, John, James and Peter went to sleep just when Christ most needed human love and support; the other disciples fled; no one remained except John and the Mother of God, those who were bound to Him by the kind of love which fears nothing and is ready to share in everything.
Once more let us ask ourselves who we are and where we stand, what our position in this crowd is. Do we stand with hope or despair, or what? And if we stand with indifference, we too are part of that terrifying crowd that surrounded Christ, shuffling, listening, and then going away; as we shall go away from church. The Crucifix will be standing here on Thursday and we shall be reading the Gospel about the Cross, the Crucifixion and death – and then what will happen? The Cross will remain standing, but we shall go away for a rest, go home to have supper, to sleep, to prepare for the fatigues of the next day. And during this time Christ is on the Cross, Christ is in the tomb. How awful it is that, like the disciples in their day, we are not able to spend one night, one hour with Him. Let us think about this, and if we are incapable of doing anything, let us at least realise who we are and where we stand, and at the final hour turn to Christ with the cry, the appeal of the thief, Remember me, Lord, in Thy Kingdom. Amen.






5 comments:

  1. A blessed Holy Week to you.....

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  2. Powerful sermon of the Holy Father.

    "who saw Christ’s miracles and heard His teaching, admired every word, who were ready to become His disciples as long as He brought victory"

    That line could be said referring to just about every conservative Catholic I've ever run into.

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  3. Let's see what crap photos the Aliturgical Bowel Movement will treat us with this week. Professor Kwasinutkase has already delighted us with his profound knowledge of the real, clerical symbolism of the Maundy in an article that sounded like the pretentious whinging of some old boy writing to the council to fix the cracked pavement. What's next!

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  4. Fr D, you deserve a break from your labours. Like Christ you have cleansed the holy temple of manifold iniquities. Alas they will always reappear, but it's the attempt that is so important.

    Many thanks!

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  5. Remarkable sermon from Francis.
    Happy Holy Week to you all!
    And may Father D continue to hound the money-changers from the Temple!

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