16 April 2022
Dear friends,

I wholeheartedly congratulate you on the feast of the Entry of Our Lord into Jerusalem, on Palm Sunday revered by our people.

On this bright and joyful day, the Holy Church remembers one of the main events of the gospel history.

On the Easter eve, residents of Jerusalem were struck by a fabulous miracle. The Prophet of Nazareth, Jesus, resurrected Lazarus who had been lying in a burial cave for four days. The news of this event thrilled the public. It made everyone surprised and frightened at the same time. Many people believed that the Old Testament prophecies were coming true and the Saviour who conquered death itself was revealed to Israel.

When the Lord was entering the city, people there exuberated and greeted Him as the coming king. They praised Him loudly, and spread their clothes and palm branches in front of Him on the road.

Many people hoped that Christ had come to lead the uprising and save the people from the power of the Roman invaders, to restore an independent Jewish state.

The Lord brought people salvation from death and sin, and they wanted solutions to their earthly problems. The Saviour came to his fellow people, but his fellow people did not recognize Him.

Earthly glory is so changeable… In just a few days, these same people laughed at Him, humiliated, beaten and bloodied, and shouted, ‘Crucify Him!’

This shows the swings of human moods, when in the course of just several days people are ready to love and hate, to believe and be disappointed. This momentary nature of emotions should be remembered by many today’s politicians and businessmen who believe that fame and popularity are unshakable and eternal.

Similar to the residents of ancient Jerusalem, today we stand in churches with willow branches in our hands (the willow blooms the first in our area and replaces palm branches since ancient times). We rejoice that together with our Lord, we have gone through the soul-saving course of Great Lent and we are ready to follow Him further – to His salvatory passions, to His Golgotha ​​and His bright Resurrection.

On this day, I wish all of us, dear sisters and brothers, true, everlasting, unchanging joy, spiritual joy that no one is in power to take away. I wish you never to deceive yourself, and to be always faithful to Christ and His Holy Church.
 
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