Sermon by Hieromonk Methodius (Yogel) on Palm Sunday
He Who Comes in the Name of the Lord
Fear not, daughter of Sion: behold, thy King cometh, sitting on an ass's colt.
Jerusalem is abuzz… Jerusalem trembles with joyous excitement… So close is the dawn of her rising up, her resurrection in the brilliance of her former glory.
The righteous soul of the Jews suffered under the yoke of the heathen rule of Rome. O, Lord, how much longer? That was the hope, the fervent desire of the disobedient, rebellious seed of the Patriarch Abraham, who found the path to heavenly and earthly glory through his own obedience.
But as always on our mortal path, the external takes precedence over the internal, the earthly over the heavenly, the perishable over the imperishable.
The desire for earthly emancipation drowned out within the Jewish soul the horror of spiritual imprisonment, the yearning for freedom from its heavy chains. The excited word “Hosanna” (referring to “salvation”) was directed towards a perceived earthly King.
Yet He, humble and meek, the true Divine King of the nation, entered the holy city to seek and save the damned, He entered to give up His life for the salvation of many.
And so then, while wearing the Crown of Thorns and red robes, He was presented before His people, who had only just praised Him, the Jewish commoners, in bitter disappointment , led by the elder priests, now instead cried out: “Take Him and crucify Him! We have no king but Caesar!”
Such is life…
Where we see glory and glitter, that is what we strive to follow and serve. Humiliation and suffering is what we disdain, what we betray and forget.
The end of Lent is now approaching, on Friday of this week Great Lent comes to an end…
Passion Week approaches, and just a little bit longer, and by the mercy of God, we will witness the Lord speaking for the final time with His disciples, facing His trial, hanging on the Cross, laid to rest in the Tomb. Where will we be then?
Will we be amidst the crowd holding the palm fronds and exclaiming “Hosanna,” or beside the Cross, crying out “Crucify Him?”
Remember, brother Christians, that the very self-same people were in both crowds…
Passion Week brings to a close the period of Great Lent. So let us double our repentant sighs now, so that not only in word but in deed shall we prove faithful to Christ, so that we meet His Holy and Bright Resurrection with worthiness.
Hosanna in the Highest! Blessed is He Who comes in the name of the Lord!
March 23, 1936