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Palm Sunday is the first day of Holy Week. Today we commemorate the entrance of Jesus in Jerusalem before His holy Passion and Crucifixion. The reception of the people of Jerusalem was glorious and enthusiastic. However, the Lord does not look for worldly glory and honor. Observe the icon of Palm Sunday and notice how Jesus is sorrowful, knowing that the people who now welcome him gloriously, in a few days, they will demand His demise, saying “Crucify Him, Crucify Him.”

Contemporary Christians are facing a challenge in order to avoid a similar trend. Christ does not offer a superficial connection, but He requests a deeply spiritual devotion to His will. He came to redeem every human being, approaching us on a personal level. He listened to the lament of the widow. He cleansed the wounds of the leper. He fed the hungry. He raised the paralytic. He gave vision to the blind. He responded to every human soul who believed in Him with love and compassion. He also listens to our petitions and prayers. Prayer is our spiritual communication with God and a response to God’s never-ending love for all of us.

For a Week we are also called to show the same faith and to follow the footsteps of the Lord in Jerusalem (Palm Sunday), to witness His love for us as the Bridegroom of the Church (Palm Sunday, Holy Monday, Tuesday evenings), to receive in contrition and humility His service and healing as He washes our feet (Holy Wednesday, Holy Unction service and evening Orthros), to sit in the Last Supper with Him (Holy Thursday morning), to help him bear the Cross on Golgotha (Holy Thursday evening), to participate in His funeral service (Good Friday) and to share the light of the Resurrection on Easter (Holy Saturday and Easter Sunday). By participating in the services of Holy Week, we follow the footsteps of our Lord and Savior on the path into Jerusalem, and on Golgotha. Christians truly feel the beauty of Holy Week when they come to all the services, following each event that led to the Passion and Resurrection of Jesus. Should we be superficial like the people of Jerusalem, who pledged allegiance to Christ and then either ignored Him or condemned Him to a humiliating execution? Should we be lazy like the disciples in Gethsemane, who expressed that they would never leave Him and yet, they fell asleep right before he was delivered and arrested? Should we be weak like Peter, who before dawn denied Christ three times? Should we betray Him like Judas for money and earthly glory? Or should we be faithful followers and believers of the Lord? We have a Week to answer all these questions: Holy Week!

+Economos Nikiforos Fakinos