Deisis (Novogorod)

Metropolitan Stefan's meditation for Palm Sunday

ugcc.org.ua - Deafness and blindness are great personal tragedies, but deafness and blindness of the soul is more tragic. On Palm Sunday, Jerusalem was blind and deaf. Its people did not recognize the true mission of Jesus. Many in the crowds wanted a revolutionary and conqueror who would fulfill their expectations and help them realize their nationalistic hopes. Their souls were unmoved. In a few days, the crowds of people will change its heart and will call out for the crucifixion of Jesus. The disciples will flee and hide. Peter will deny Jesus three times. Imagine the loneliness felt by Jesus.

In each of our lives, there are Palm Sunday moments.  Our Lord visits every soul.  There are moments when we feel close to God.  We feel Him touching our lives.  We can hear Him.  Regretfully, there are times when we are blind and deaf to God’s visits.  We are insensitive to His approaches.  These are missed opportunities, personal tragedies.  We find ourselves hiding within ourselves and within our day-to-day concerns, hesitant to risk ourselves to respond to Jesus Christ’s presence and His inviting love.

On Palm Sunday, we receive blessed pussy willows as a symbol of our commitment to Christ.  Remember that the first commitment was made by Jesus for you and for me with His complete love and sacrifice on the cross.  Let your commitment be expressed through all your words and actions in life, crying out, “Hosanna! Blessed is He Who comes in the Name of the Lord!”  Allow your love for Jesus Christ richly expresses itself in your faithful worship with your parish family in His Church.  May your enthusiastic faith help others to shed their blindness and deafness to the visits of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ in their daily life.  Live the peace of Jesus Christ personally and share it with others who desperately need to hear of Christ’s promise of unending joy and peace with Him for all who believe and follow His ways!  Choose to live as an Easter person!


Teachings of Christ

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God." (John 3:16-18 ESV)

Resurrection

Christ is risen from the dead * trampling down Death by death, * and to those in the tombs bestowing life! (Troparion)

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever and to the ages of ages. Amen.

Although You descended into the tomb, O Immortal One, * You destroyed the power of Hades; * You arose as the victor, O Christ God, * proclaiming to the myrrh-bearing women: “Rejoice!” * And granting peace to Your Apostles, * O, You, Who gives resurrection to the fallen. (Kontakion)

Random Proverb

"One gives freely, yet grows all the richer; another withholds what he should give, and only suffers want." (Proverbs 11:24 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

“Only one sin is nowadays severely punished: the attentive observance of the traditions of our Fathers. For that reason the good ones are thrown out of their places and brought to the desert.” (ep. 243)