Fr. Ron Serban - 14/04/2019

Luke 19:28-40closeLuke 19:28-40 The Triumphal Entry 28 And when he had said these things, he went on ahead, going up to Jerusalem. 29 When he drew near to Bethphage and Bethany, at the mount that is called Olivet, he sent two of the disciples, 30 saying, “Go into the village in front of you, where on entering you will find a colt tied, on which no one has ever yet sat. Untie it and bring it here. 31 If anyone asks you, ‘Why are you untying it?’ you shall say this: ‘The Lord has need of it.’” 32 So those who were sent went away and found it just as he had told them. 33 And as they were untying the colt, its owners said to them, “Why are you untying the colt?” 34 And they said, “The Lord has need of it.” 35 And they brought it to Jesus, and throwing their cloaks on the colt, they set Jesus on it. 36 And as he rode along, they spread their cloaks on the road. 37 As he was drawing near—already on the way down the Mount of Olives—the whole multitude of his disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen, 38 saying, “Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!” 39 And some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples.” 40 He answered, “I tell you, if these were silent, the very stones would cry out.” (ESV) closeLuke 19:28-40closeLuke 19:28-40 The Triumphal Entry 28 And when he had said these things, he went on ahead, going up to Jerusalem. 29 When he drew near to Bethphage and Bethany, at the mount that is called Olivet, he sent two of the disciples, 30 saying, “Go into the village in front of you, where on entering you will find a colt tied, on which no one has ever yet sat. Untie it and bring it here. 31 If anyone asks you, ‘Why are you untying it?’ you shall say this: ‘The Lord has need of it.’” 32 So those who were sent went away and found it just as he had told them. 33 And as they were untying the colt, its owners said to them, “Why are you untying the colt?” 34 And they said, “The Lord has need of it.” 35 And they brought it to Jesus, and throwing their cloaks on the colt, they set Jesus on it. 36 And as he rode along, they spread their cloaks on the road. 37 As he was drawing near—already on the way down the Mount of Olives—the whole multitude of his disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen, 38 saying, “Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!” 39 And some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples.” 40 He answered, “I tell you, if these were silent, the very stones would cry out.” (ESV) The Triumphal Entry 28 And when he had said these things, he went on ahead, going up to Jerusalem. 29 When he drew near to Bethphage and Bethany, at the mount that is called Olivet, he sent two of the disciples, 30 saying, “Go into the village in front of you, where on entering you will find a colt tied, on which no one has ever yet sat. Untie it and bring it here. 31 If anyone asks you, ‘Why are you untying it?’ you shall say this: ‘The Lord has need of it.’” 32 So those who were sent went away and found it just as he had told them. 33 And as they were untying the colt, its owners said to them, “Why are you untying the colt?” 34 And they said, “The Lord has need of it.” 35 And they brought it to Jesus, and throwing their cloaks on the colt, they set Jesus on it. 36 And as he rode along, they spread their cloaks on the road. 37 As he was drawing near—already on the way down the Mount of Olives—the whole multitude of his disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen, 38 saying, “Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!” 39 And some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples.” 40 He answered, “I tell you, if these were silent, the very stones would cry out.” (ESV) ; Isaiah 50:4-7closeIsaiah 50:4-7 The Lord God has given me
the tongue of those who are taught,
that I may know how to sustain with a word
him who is weary.
Morning by morning he awakens;
he awakens my ear
to hear as those who are taught.
The Lord God has opened my ear,
and I was not rebellious;
I turned not backward.
I gave my back to those who strike,
and my cheeks to those who pull out the beard;
I hid not my face
from disgrace and spitting. But the Lord God helps me;
therefore I have not been disgraced;
therefore I have set my face like a flint,
and I know that I shall not be put to shame. (ESV)
closeIsaiah 50:4-7closeIsaiah 50:4-7 The Lord God has given me
the tongue of those who are taught,
that I may know how to sustain with a word
him who is weary.
Morning by morning he awakens;
he awakens my ear
to hear as those who are taught.
The Lord God has opened my ear,
and I was not rebellious;
I turned not backward.
I gave my back to those who strike,
and my cheeks to those who pull out the beard;
I hid not my face
from disgrace and spitting. But the Lord God helps me;
therefore I have not been disgraced;
therefore I have set my face like a flint,
and I know that I shall not be put to shame. (ESV)
The Lord God has given me
the tongue of those who are taught,
that I may know how to sustain with a word
him who is weary.
Morning by morning he awakens;
he awakens my ear
to hear as those who are taught.
The Lord God has opened my ear,
and I was not rebellious;
I turned not backward.
I gave my back to those who strike,
and my cheeks to those who pull out the beard;
I hid not my face
from disgrace and spitting. But the Lord God helps me;
therefore I have not been disgraced;
therefore I have set my face like a flint,
and I know that I shall not be put to shame. (ESV)
; Psalms 22:8-9, 17-18, 19-20, 23-24closePsalm 22:8-9 “He trusts in the Lord; let him deliver him;
let him rescue him, for he delights in him!” Yet you are he who took me from the womb;
you made me trust you at my mother's breasts.
Psalm 22:17-18 17 I can count all my bones—
they stare and gloat over me;
18 they spanide my garments among them,
and for my clothing they cast lots.
Psalm 22:19-20 19 But you, O Lord, do not be far off!
O you my help, come quickly to my aid!
20 Deliver my soul from the sword,
my precious life from the power of the dog!
Psalm 22:23-24 23 You who fear the Lord, praise him!
All you offspring of Jacob, glorify him,
and stand in awe of him, all you offspring of Israel!
24 For he has not despised or abhorred
the affliction of the afflicted,
and he has not hidden his face from him,
but has heard, when he cried to him. (ESV)
closePsalm 22:8-9closePsalm 22:8-9 “He trusts in the Lord; let him deliver him;
let him rescue him, for he delights in him!” Yet you are he who took me from the womb;
you made me trust you at my mother's breasts. (ESV)
“He trusts in the Lord; let him deliver him;
let him rescue him, for he delights in him!” Yet you are he who took me from the womb;
you made me trust you at my mother's breasts.
Psalm 22:17-18closePsalm 22:17-18 17 I can count all my bones—
they stare and gloat over me;
18 they spanide my garments among them,
and for my clothing they cast lots. (ESV)
17 I can count all my bones—
they stare and gloat over me;
18 they spanide my garments among them,
and for my clothing they cast lots.
Psalm 22:19-20closePsalm 22:19-20 19 But you, O Lord, do not be far off!
O you my help, come quickly to my aid!
20 Deliver my soul from the sword,
my precious life from the power of the dog! (ESV)
19 But you, O Lord, do not be far off!
O you my help, come quickly to my aid!
20 Deliver my soul from the sword,
my precious life from the power of the dog!
Psalm 22:23-24closePsalm 22:23-24 23 You who fear the Lord, praise him!
All you offspring of Jacob, glorify him,
and stand in awe of him, all you offspring of Israel!
24 For he has not despised or abhorred
the affliction of the afflicted,
and he has not hidden his face from him,
but has heard, when he cried to him. (ESV)
23 You who fear the Lord, praise him!
All you offspring of Jacob, glorify him,
and stand in awe of him, all you offspring of Israel!
24 For he has not despised or abhorred
the affliction of the afflicted,
and he has not hidden his face from him,
but has heard, when he cried to him. (ESV)
; Philippians 2:6-11closePhilippians 2:6-11 who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (ESV) closePhilippians 2:6-11closePhilippians 2:6-11 who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (ESV) who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (ESV) ; Luke 22:14-23:56closeERROR: The IP key is no longer supported. Please use your access key, the testing key 'TEST'closeERROR: The IP key is no longer supported. Please use your access key, the testing key 'TEST'

Palm Sunday

We begin Holy Week by remembering Christ’s triumphal entry into Jerusalem. I say triumphal but actually it wasn’t very triumphal at all. Yet, greeted by the poor and downtrodden, it was indeed a procession and it  certainly marked the formal entry into Jerusalem of Christ the long awaited Messiah.
The key concept we need to employ here is the one of paradox. If you want to understand anything about Jesus then you have to understand paradox. Everything is the opposite to what it seems and all that He does appears to the outside world as a contradiction.
If Christ is the Messiah, the long heralded King of Israel, the King of all Kings (and He is all these), then His entry into Jerusalem should have been accompanied by all the signs and trappings of earthly kingship. There should have been a splendid welcome laid
on by the Levitical priests and the whole populace should have been out to meet Him with the great and the good at the very front.
But what we actually have is a mixed crowd of people waving palms and singing Hosanna. Some might have not even known Him, but where caught up in the frenzy. So inconsistent and unreliable a bunch were they, that we have no trouble assuming that some of them might even have turned up in the crowd who shouted “Crucify him” later that same week.
But this fits in well with everything we know about Jesus. He shuns the limelight, He avoids publicity, He is one who is completely uninterested in outward appearances and is only concerned with things of the heart. He is indeed the ultimate paradox.
Here is a King who wants to rule by means of love alone, a King who wants not to dominate but to serve, a King whose greatest interest is in humility and lowliness rather than honor and power. Here is a King who gives his life for his people.
We begin today a very serious week of prayer and increased devotion as we shift our focus more closely to the suffering and death of Christ. It is a week during which we accompany Christ in his last hours and draw close to him in his suffering and death. It is a week during which we face up to our own sinfulness and express deep sorrow for our  transgressions. It is a week of increased faith and trust in God.
I urge each and every one of you to take this week seriously. Yes we all have to go to work and do whatever it is we do during every other week of the year, but it is vital that we make this week different. It is essential that we make this a more spiritual week, a week of renewed prayer and deep devotion.
The Church observes this week in its liturgy, but also at certain times by its lack of liturgy. We celebrate mass on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday as usual, but we do so thinking most especially about those days in Jerusalem and what they have come to mean.
On Holy Thursday we celebrate no morning mass but instead the solemn liturgy of the Lord’s Supper in the evening (6:30pm) after  which the altar is stripped and the Blessed Sacrament removed to the Altar of Repose.
Then on Good Friday again no mass is celebrated but instead we have the very moving Liturgy of the Passion at three o’clock during which we commemorate Christ’s death on the Cross in a most solemn way.
Again on Holy Saturday there is one single liturgy of the Easter Vigil when we light the Easter Fire and celebrate as well as we can, the Resurrection of Our Lord Jesus Christ.
This mass, in following the rubrics, will also begin at 8pm (not 5pm).
It is important to attend these ceremonies, it is essential to mark these important events which are so vital for the life of the world.
Everyone else in the world takes advantage of a couple of vacation days off work to give themselves some leisure time and we should do the same. But we must not neglect the liturgy; we must not neglect our Christian duty to commemorate in a liturgical way
these crucial incidents in the life of Christ.
Today we begin. We sing Hosanna and wave our Palms. We remember that paradoxical procession that entered Jerusalem; that brought the King of Creation into the Holy City on the back of a Donkey. We rejoice and we acknowledge that we are citizens of heaven, true members of his Kingdom of Love. This week we shift from Jerusalem to the agony of His Passion and death as told in the Gospel of Mark. This day is an ‘Overture,’ if you will, of the days to come.

Fr.Ron

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