O come, you the heavenly Bridegroom! Crash theā€¦


His Beatitude’s Homily
In Palm Sunday, Damascus April 13, 2014

My beloved,

Our feast today is the feast of salvation. And in Arabic the feast’s name Shaanin comes from the word Hoshanna “come and save us” which came out of Jerusalem’s children mouths when receiving Jesus, which means “the savior” as well.

Here we are gathering in this day together with our children to receive the Lord of the glory, entering to Jerusalem, starting the path of His passions out of His love toward mankind.

We receive Him holding a candle praying like children and saying: O come, you the heavenly Bridegroom! Crash the darkness of these times and fill the lanterns of our souls with the oil of your divine consolation. Come and wash our souls with the sinner woman’s spikenard and the Myrrh-bearing womens’ basils, so we may become members of their blessed order, announcing the tidings of joy of our Lord’s Resurrection, and thus, the resurrection of the mankind to the whole world.

What captives our minds in this feast is the fact that it addresses the spirit of the childish innocence in us, as the Savior says to us:

Come O ye man! Cast away the burdens of this world to receive the Lord in Jerusalem!

Come and be a child in your soul, and pray for That who sits upon a colt the foal of an ass in order to free the Man from the darkness of death.

Behold! Put at his feet the dresses of the old man as the crowd did receiving Him in Jerusalem!

Behold and see with childish eyes Who raised Lazarus!

Behold and look at him with the joy of Mary and Martha and open the gate of your heart for Him.

Relieve your ears of the this world’s noise so you may hear Him: “My yoke is easy, and my burden is light”.

When the Church arranged the services of the Holy Week, She crowned it with the event of Resurrection, and put the raising of Lazarus at the beginning to assure that the heart of this liturgical period is resurrectional par excellence.

Yesterday She reminded us of Lazarus’s Raising, in few days we will be holding The Divine Liturgy of the holy Pascha.

All these tell us that we are made of Resurrection, and live on its anticipation.

At the end of the 19th century, Bishop Athanasios Atallah of eternal memory, bishop of Emessa the precious diocese with its good people, he wrote a poem describing this feast.

What he has written penetrated our hearts and we memorized it repeating it every year:

Rejoice, rejoice, O Bethany!
On this day God came to thee
And in Him the dead are made alive,

As it is right, for He is the Life

We are all called upon to make each one’s heart a “Bethany” despite all the tragedies that suurround us, and the horrors that happen to our country.

We are called upon to trust, as we were and as we will remain, in God’s power.

And hereby, we repeat the words of Athanasios Atallah and add:

Rejoice, rejoice, O Bethany!
On this day God came to thee
And in Him the dead are made alive,
As it is right, for He is the Life

Thou came to us, O merciful,
a great savior to the world
We do hope O lord for
an abundance of love and peace

O dear Lord bestow upon Syria
Peace and love and amity
And protect Lebanon’s youth
Safe and strong with dignity

To thee O Lord of Creation
We kneel down in reverence profound
We’ve gained in the midst of darkness
strength through thee O jesus!

May God preserve these blessed days, giving us the light of His divine peace.