Palm Sunday – 10 April – Our Lenten Journey with the Great Fathers – Philippians 2:5-11, The Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ according to Matthew 26:36-75; 27:1-60
“My God, my God, look upon me, why have You forsaken me?” – Psalm 21:2
“Behold the hour is at hand
and the Son of man shall be betrayed
into the hands of sinners.”
“OUR UNDERSTANDING, which is enlightened by the Spirit of Truth, should receive with purity and freedom of heart the glory of the Cross, as it shines in Heaven and on earth. It should see with inner vision. the meaning of the Lord’s Words when He spoke of the imminence of His passion – The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. Afterward He said – Now my soul is troubled and what am I to say? Father, save Me from this hour. But it was for this that I came to this hour. Father, glorify Your Son. When the voice of the Father came from Heaven, saying, I have glorified him, and will glorify Him again, Jesus said in reply to those around Him – It was not for Me that this Voice spoke but for you. Now is the judgement of the world, now will the prince of this world be cast out. And I, if I Am lifted up from the earth, will draw all things to Myself.
HOW MARVELLOUS the Power of the Cross, how great beyond all telling, the glory of the Passion – here is the Judgement-Seat of the Lord, the condemnation of the world, the supremacy of Christ Crucified. LORD, You drew all things to Yourself so that the devotion of all peoples, everywhere, might celebrate, in a Sacrament made perfect and visible, what was carried out in the one temple of Judea, under obscure foreshadowings. …
DEARLY BELOVED, let us then acknowledge what Saint Paul, the teacher of the nations, acknowledged so exultantly: This is a saying worthy of trust, worthy of complete acceptance – Christ Jesus came into this world to save sinners. God’s compassion for us is all the more wonderful because Christ died, not for the righteous, or the holy but for the wicked and the sinful and, although the Divine Nature could not be touched by the sting of death, He took to Himself, through His birth as one of us, something He could offer on our behalf.
THE POWER OF HIS DEATH, once confronted our death. In the words of Hosea, the prophet: Death, I shall be your death; grave, I shall swallow you up. By dying He submitted to the laws of the underworld; by rising again, He destroyed them. He did away with the everlasting character of death, so as to make death a thing of time, not of eternity. As all die in Adam, so all will be brought to life in Christ.” – St Leo the Great (400-461) Great Father and Doctor of the Church (Excerpt from his “On the Lord’s Passion” Sermon 8).