Living in the Two Hearts

My Spiritual Insights and Musings

Posts Tagged ‘palm sunday’

This IS Holy Week!…

Posted by Anne Elizabeth on March 25, 2017

    Do not make My Father’s House a den of thieves!

First Published 4/1/2012

Updated 3/25.2018 – Psalm Sunday and Holy Week

OFFICE OF READINGS: Non Biblical Reading, p 1989

It Was Necessary That Christ Should Suffer and So Enter Into His Glory:
St. Anastasius of Antioch – A Discourse
(excerpt, emphasis added, with commentary)

Christ, who has shown by His words AND actions [see James 2: 17-18] that He was truly God and Lord of the universe, said to His disciples as He was about to go up to Jerusalem: We are going up to Jerusalem now, and the Son of Man will be handed over to the Gentiles and the chief priests and scribes to be scourged and mocked and crucified.

Those words bore out the predictions of the prophets, who had foretold the death He was to die in Jerusalem.  From the beginning Holy Scripture had foretold Christ’s death [see Ps 22: 1, 16-18; 69:21; 34:20;] , the sufferings that would proceed it [see Jer 11:19; Zech 12: 10-11a; Is 53: 3-9;], and what would happen to His body afterward.  Scripture also affirmed that these things were going to happen to One who was immortal and incapable of suffering because HE WAS GOD.

Only by reflecting upon the meaning of the incarnation can we see how it is possible to say with perfect truth both that CHRIST SUFFERED and that He was incapable of suffering, and why the WORD of God, in Himself incapable of suffering, CAME TO SUFFER.

In fact, man could not have been saved in ANY OTHER WAY, as Christ alone KNEW. No wonder His Apostles found it hard to accept  (see Mt 16:21; 20: 17-19; Mk 8:31; 9:31; Lk 9:21, 44 – just to name a few).

Around my heart, O Lord, Your fingers entwine...

Around my heart, O Lord, Your fingers entwine…

O God of mine, the singing birds are calling,
their song of love, a song for lovers true.
It’s autumn time and where the leaves are falling,
it’s there I wait to beg a WORD with You.

Tis of Your LOVE, Your LOVE I would be pleading,
around my heart, Your fingers You entwine.
The Saints above all know how much I’m needing
a little WORD to bid me HOPE, O God of mine!

~Fr Clifford Stevens, Lenten Homily, Tuesday 5th Week of Lent.

Hope springs eternal…

This is Holy Week!!! …a week that IS truly ABOUT HOPE.  On one hand we have the Apostles all hoping that Jesus will establish His Kingdom, they will have their places in that kingdom, and the Romans will be driven out of their land.  On the other hand…

We see another kind of hope, from the Religious Leaders of Jesus’ time.  They saw the signs and wonders Jesus had done and continued to do. 

They remember the word’s of John the Baptist…

But when [John] saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming for baptism, he said to them, “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come?…” ~Mt 3:7

…who said he was not the Christ (cf Jn 1:20).

Pompeys Campaign against Jerusalem.

PLUS they most likely remember the destruction of Jerusalem under Pompey “60 years before the birth of Jesus”…

“There was slaughter everywhere.  For some of the Jews were slain by the Romans and others by their own compatriots.  There were some who hurled themselves down the massive walls, and setting fire to their houses, burned themselves in them, for they could not bear to accept their fate.  Thousands perished in the assault of the city.” ~Account by Jewish Historian, Josephus, Fr. Clifford Stevens, Homilies, Saturday of the 5th Week of Lent.

Their bizarre hope? As they gathered in council after the raising of Lazarus, FOUR DAYS DEAD in the tomb, they said,…

“What are we to do?  For this man performs many signs.  If we let Him go on thus, everyone will believe in Him, and the Romans will come and destroy both our holy place and our nation!” ~Jn 11: 47b-48


But Caiaphas, who was the high priest for that year, responded with…

“You know nothing at all;  you do not understand that it is expedient for you that one man should die for the people, and that the whole nation should not perish.” ~Jn 11: 49b-50

Their hope?  That they can convince the Roman Governor – Pontius Pilate – to condemn Jesus to death.  See John 19:29-31.

Oddly enough, they (the apostles and the Jewish leaders) had it right, just not exactly right.  Jesus will establish His Heavenly Kingdom…

“Amen, amen I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise.” ~Mt 23:43

And He will die to redeem the Nation of Israel, BUT He will do this to redeem ALL MANKIND…

“At the appointed time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for us godless men…It is precisely in this that God proves His love for us: that while were were still sinners, Christ died for us…For if, when we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to Him by the death of His Son, it is all the more certain that we who have been reconciled will be saved by His life.” ~Romans 5: 6, 8, 10, Evening Prayer, Monday of Holy Week.

What is the BIG PICTURE?

So it is with us, yes?  We see just a small part of the BIG PICTURE that only God  and the saints in Heaven see.  If we can only see a “small part” of this BIG PICTURE, what then should our focus be this week?

A GOOD QUESTION with a simple answer:  REDEMPTION through His SUFFERING.  The good news?  You are already equipped to do it! 

I am? How?

You have laid aside your struggles by calling out to Him who struggled BEFORE you and WITH you.  You have placed YOUR TRUST IN HIM, and are willing to TRUST IN HIM to help see you through whatever lies ahead of you.  So now you are ready to take the focus entirely from yourself and your own short comings (that’s what those 40 days were all about), and can now…





After the glorious and ecstatic events of Psalm Sunday, the readings of the Mass rivet our minds on the coming Passion and Crucifixion of Jesus, the events that brought about the Salvation of the world.  These readings are carefully constructed mosaics of His sufferings, taken from the Prophets, the Psalms and the Gospels.  We are given to understand that WE are PART OF THE DRAMA of REDEMPTION and that is for US that He underwent these SUFFERINGS. ~Fr Clifford Stevens, Homily, Monday of Holy Week, emphasis added.

A Reading from the Prophet Isaiah…

On that note: The coming Messiah… A reading from the Prophet Isaiah

Behold my servant, whom I uphold, My chosen, in whom My soul delights; I have put My Spirit upon Him [Lk 4:16-21], He will bring forth justice to the nations [Rev 19:11].  He will not cry or lift up His voice, or make it heard in the street;  a bruised reed He will not break, and a dimly burning wick He will not quench [Mt 27: 27-31]; He will faithfully bring forth justice.  He will not fail or be discouraged till He has established justice in the earth [Rev 19: 13c-15]; and the coastlands wait for His law [Mt 28: 18-20].

The Faithful Servant…

Thus says God, the LORD, who created the heavens and stretched them out, who spread forth the earth and what comes from it, who gives breath to the people upon it and spirit to those who walk in it: “I am the LORD, I have called You in righteousness, I have taken You by the hand and kept You [Jn 7: 16-19]; I have given You as a covenant to the people [Mt 26:28], a light to the nations [Jn 8:12a], to open the eyes that are blind [Jn 9: 1-11], to bring out the prisoners from the dungeon, from the prison those who sit in darkness [Jn 8:12b]. ~Isaiah 42: 1-7

This reading focuses on the PROMISE of who Jesus will be, and as the [ … ] indicate, there fulfillment.  I highly recommend that you read those passages for yourself as you read through the passage from Isaiah.

Who Jesus IS and soon WILL BE…

The Gospel according to St. John…

A reading from the Holy Gospel † According to John † : Praise to You, Lord Jesus Christ!

Six days before the Passover, Jesus came to Bethany, where Lazarus was, whom Jesus had raised from the dead. There they made Him a supper; Martha served, and Lazarus was one of those at table with Him.

 Mary took a pound of costly ointment of pure nard and anointed the feet of Jesus and wiped His feet with her hair; and the house was filled with the fragrance of the ointment.  But Judas Iscariot, one of His disciples (he who was to betray Him), said…

“Why was this ointment not sold for three hundred denarii and given to the poor?” This he said, not that he cared for the poor but because he was a thief, and as he had the money box he used to take what was put into it. Jesus said, “Let her alone, let her keep it for the day of My burial. The poor you always have with you, but you do not always have Me.”

When the great crowd of the Jews learned that He was there, they came, not only on account of Jesus but also to see Lazarus, whom He had raised from the dead.  So the chief priests planned to put Lazarus also to death, because on account of him many of the Jews were going away and believing in Jesus. ~Jn 12: 1-11

The preparation for Jesus’ burial.  An event that He has alluded to and many times directly told His disciples that it will happen: Mt 16:21; 17:23; 20: 17-19; Lk 17:25… just to name a few.  But as Fr Stevens reminds us…

...unless we understand the turmoil and uproar in the city of Jerusalem after the miracle of raising Lazarus from the dead, the whole climate of this Gospel will be missed.  Jesus suddenly left the city…the Temple Square itself closed to Him.  He went somewhere to be alone with His disciples…perhaps to open these passages from Isaiah to them, since none of them believed in the terrible things that would happen in the coming week…

We have no idea what His disciples thought when He spoke of His burial.  And even if they heard these words, the events of the next day, Palm Sunday, would convince them that those words could not possibly be true.  He is welcomed as the new King of Israel…but in the background are plots and subplots to make sure that this Prophet from Nazareth will not be the fuse that erupts into a rebellion against the Romans.”  ~Fr Clifford Stevens, Homily, Monday of Holy Week.

Our Focus: The REDEMPTION given to us by the SUFFERING CHRIST…

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