Priest’s Corner: April-May 2019
By the time this issue of our newsletter comes out, the final week of Great Lent will be upon us. At the beginning of that final week, we celebrate, with great joy, the Entrance of Our Lord into Jerusalem – while at the same time realizing the reason for which he came to Jerusalem. This was the mistake the ancient Jews made when initially welcoming the Lord: They thought He had come to reestablish the Kingdom of Israel on Earth, not to open the doors of the Heavenly Kingdom for all mankind. Because of this misunderstanding, the same people who had cried “Hosanna!” as the Lord entered into Jerusalem would several days later cry out to Pilate, “Crucify Him!”
We should not, in any way, imitate those who first welcomed the Lord, receiving the great gift of the coming of their Savior only to turn their backs on Him later. “We have seen the True Light” (from the Divine Liturgy), we have been blessed with the priceless opportunity to have our sins remitted and cleansed through Holy Confession, and we will commemorate Our Lord’s sacrifice upon the Cross, upon which His most precious Body was broken, upon which His most precious Blood was spilled, for the cleansing of our souls and bodies, the remission of our sins, and the reunion of all mankind with God.
Let us not forget the efforts we made during Great Lent, nor turn our backs on the promises we made in Confession by simply going back to our bad habits after celebrating Pascha. Let us remain true to Our Savior, Who grants us forgiveness of our sins and His most precious Body and Blood, which renews in us the divine nature of our humanity. At each Divine Liturgy we hear the words of the Cherubic Hymn: “Let us lay aside all earthly cares” as we prepare to celebrate the Holy Eucharist. Holy Week is the celebration of the very first Eucharist, of that pivotal moment in human history when blood sacrifices were replaced by the most pure Blood of Our Savior and the gates of heaven were reopened to us. Let us celebrate Holy Pascha by continuing the good work we have begun during Lent and continue our sincere efforts to live in a way more pleasing to Him, for in doing so: “We proclaim His death and we bear witness to His Resurrection!” (from the Liturgy of St. Basil).
Glory to Thy passion, O Christ, Glory to Thy most Holy Resurrection, O Lord! Truly Our Lord is risen!