Troparion Tone 4
O Christ God, when we were buried with Thee in Baptism, we became deserving of Thy Resurrection to immortal life. Wherefore, we praise Thee, crying: Hosanna in the highest! Blessed is He that cometh in the Name of the Lord.
Reading From the Book of John
They Took branches of palm trees, and went forth to meet him, and cried, Hosanna: Blessed is the King of Israel that cometh in the name of the Lord.
Reading From the Book of Zechariah
Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass.
~Chapter 9, Verse:9
Gospel of Matthew
And when they drew nigh unto Jerusalem, and were come to Bethphage, unto the mount of Olives, then sent Jesus two disciples, Saying unto them, Go into the village over against you, and straightway ye shall find an ass tied, and a colt with her: loose them, and bring them unto me. And if any man say ought unto you, ye shall say, The Lord hath need of them; and straightway he will send them. All this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet.
~Chapter: 21, Verses: 1-11
Today, we commemorate the hour when Jesus entered the holy city of Jerusalem for the last time. It was a triumphal entry of Jesus as king, reminding us of King David when he entered and took possession of Jerusalem. This is precisely what St. Luke clearly emphasized in his gospel. “The whole multitude of his disciples began to praise God aloud with joy for all the mighty deeds they have seen. They proclaimed: ‘Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!”
Jesus is king. And we have to follow Him. He entered Jerusalem, but that was just the beginning. We have to follow Him, step by step – from the gates of Jerusalem to the Upper Room, to the Garden of Gethsemane, to the Praetorium, to Calvary, and then to the tomb whence He gloriously rose from the dead.
When following Him, we should be fully aware of the kind of kingship Jesus represents and exercises. Reading through the story of the Passion, Saint Luke identified the major characteristics of the kingship of Christ as against the kingship of this world. At the Last Supper, Jesus showed that His kingship is Eucharistic, where people are gathered together eating and drinking as one family, without discrimination and divisions in an all-inclusive fellowship of God’s children. The worldly kingship, on the contrary, promotes divisions, competition, and segregation according to class, color, economic and social standing. While Jesus was still speaking to the disciples, they were already arguing and debating as to which of them was the greatest. That is the worldly kingship, which is based on the desire to dominate and conquer others. But the kingship of Jesus is based on the desire to serve: “Let the greatest among you be as the youngest and the leader as the servant.
Among the palms laid out for a king let us remember to serve the King that has come, will rise, and come again as we celebrate this next holy week.