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

“If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel's will save it. For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul? For what can a man give in return for his soul?" (Mark 8:34-37 ESV)

Saint Nicholas of Myra

The truth of your deeds has revealed you to your flock, * as a rule of faith, an image of meekness, and a teacher of abstinence. * Therefore, you attained the heights through humility, * and riches through poverty. * O Father and Hierarch Nicholas, * pray to Christ God that our souls may be saved. (Troparion, Tone 4)

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

In Myra, You were shown to be a servant of the sacred things, O Holy Nicholas, * for, fulfilling the Gospel of Christ, you, O Venerable, laid down your life for your people, * and saved the innocent from death. * Therefore, you were sanctified as a great initiate of the grace of God. (Kontakion, Tone 3)

Random Proverb

"My son, do not forget my teaching, but let your heart keep my commandments, for length of days and years of life and peace they will add to you." (Proverbs 3:1,2 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

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

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

Even a pious person is not immune to spiritual sickness if he does not have a wise guide -- either a living person or a spiritual writer. This sickness is called _prelest_, or spiritual delusion, imagining oneself to be near to God and to the realm of the divine and supernatural. Even zealous ascetics in monasteries are sometimes subject to this delusion, but of course, laymen who are zealous in external struggles (podvigi) undergo it much more frequently. Surpassing their acquaintances in struggles of prayer and fasting, they imagine that they are seers of divine visions, or at least of dreams inspired by grace. In every event of their lives, they see special intentional directions from God or their guardian angel. And then they start imagining that they are God's elect, and often try to foretell the future. The Holy Fathers armed themselves against nothing so fiercely as against this sickness -- prelest.

Metropolitan Anthony Khrapovitsky