Thursday, April 20, 2017

His Journey to Jerusalem

Let us go together to meet Christ on the Mount of Olives.  Today He returns from Bethany and proceeds of His own free will towards His holy and blessed passion, to consummate the mystery of our salvation.  He who came down from heaven to raise us from the depths of sin, to raise us with himself, now comes of His own free will to make His journey to Jerusalem.
               Les us run to accompany Him as He hastens towards His passion, and imitate those who met Him then, not by covering His path with garments, olive branches or palms, but by doing all we can to prostrate ourselves before Him by being humble and by trying to live as He would wish.  Then, we shall be able to receive the Word at His coming and God, whom no limits can contain, will be within us.
               In His humility Christ entered the dark regions of our fallen world, glad that He came and lived among us and shared in our nature in order to raise us up again to himself.  And even though we are told that He has now ascended above the highest heavens—the proof, surely, of His power and godhead—His love for man will never rest until He has raised our earthbound nature from glory to glory, and made it one with His own in heaven.
               So let us spread before His feet, not garments or soulless olive branches, which delight the eye for a few hours and then wither, but ourselves, clothed in His grace, or rather, clothed completely in Him. We who have been baptized into Christ must ourselves be the garments that we spread before Him.  Now that the crimson stains of our sins have been washed away in the saving waters of our baptism and we have become white as pure wool, let us present the conqueror of death, not with mere branches of palms, but with the real rewards of His victory, and let our souls take the place of the welcoming branches.              (Saint Andrew of Crete, bishop)
               We have spent our Lent gaining control of our thoughts, our feelings, and our lives.  Let us offer all this to the Lord.  Let us not spread branches today only to cry “Crucify Him” on Friday.  Let our gains this Lent remain with us, and lead us to even greater praise and charity for the one who suffered temptation, torture and death for us.  Let our progress this Lent enable to rise with our Lord at Easter, and remain in His presence each Eucharistic celebration.                  kvs

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