April 11, 2023

Third Homily for Palm Sunday (St. Luke of Simferopol)

By St. Luke, Archbishop of Simferopol and All Crimea

(Delivered in 1953)

The seal of deep humility and quietness lay on the glorious Entrance of our Lord Jesus Christ into Jerusalem. There was no thunder of fanfares and trumpets, and only extraordinary greetings of "Hosanna in the highest, blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord" filled the air.

The deeply bowed people spread their clothes on the road of the Savior, and enthusiastically waved the branches of the palms. In the divine heart of the Savior there was not even a shadow of that vanity and ambition with which the proud hearts of Roman victors were full from the glory that the people bestowed on them, who knew how to bow only before power.

The heart of the Savior was full of deep sadness, and tears rolled down from His bright eyes. For the first time in the world, people saw a weeping victor. He wept over what lay, according to His divine foreknowledge, in Jerusalem before Him.

And, looking at her, He wept over her and said: “If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace!” (Luke 19:42).

He knew that the cruel and hard-headed people with hearts of stone, which had not been revealed even before the great divine truth of the teaching of Christ and His miracles unseen by the world, were destined by God for the terrible ruin of Jerusalem and her temple for not knowing the day of His visitation and by a terrible execution of the cross she killed the Savior and her Messiah.  
But the people chosen by God could not be rejected by Him, and a remnant remained who believed in Christ and laid the foundation for the entire Christian race.

Let us never forget about these difficult words of the Savior, for they apply not only to the people who solemnly met Him at the entrance to Jerusalem, but also to each of us: for Christ visits us often and in many ways to keep us off the path of sinful life. He visits us with sufferings, illnesses, ordeals, so that we come to our senses and stop on our crooked paths.

And if we are deaf and inattentive to these visitations of Christ, then our guardian angels weep for us, as He, the Savior of the world, our Lord and God Jesus Christ Himself, wept for the unknowing in Jerusalem at the entrance to it. To Him be glory and thanksgiving and worship for delivering us from eternal death with His Blood and His tears for us who are perishing. Amen.

Source: Translated by John Sanidopoulos.

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