On 24 April 2016, the Orthodox Church celebrates the Entrance of the Lord into Jerusalem, feast known as the Palm Sunday.
On this day, His Beatitude Daniel, Patriarch of the Romanian Orthodox Church celebrated the Divine Liturgy, in the Patriarchal Cathedral, together with His Grace Timotei Prahoveanul, Assistant Bishop to the Archdiocese of Bucharest, assisted by a group of priests and deacons.
THE HEAVENLY JERUSALEM MUST BE UNDERSTOOD AS THE KINGDOM OF THE NEVER SETTING LIGHT OF THE MOST HOLY TRINITY
His Beatitude Patriarch Daniel delivered a sermon in which he spoke about the truths of the Gospel text of the day. The Patriarch of Romania explained to those present that Jesus’ entrance into Jerusalem is also an anticipation of His entrance, through Resurrection, into theHeavenly Jerusalem, into the Kingdom of light, love and joy of the Most Holy Trinity in order to prepare for us, for those who believe in Him, a place in the heavenly Jerusalem, in the everlasting one.
“This Gospel text shows us that the honour that Maria, sister of Lazarus and sister of Martha from Bethania, shows towards Jesus Christ, our Saviour, is an anticipation of His burial and a gesture of gratitude because Jesus raised from the dead His friend Lazarus from Bethania. Secondly, the Gospel text shows us that the entrance of Jesus Christ, our Saviour, into Jerusalem, was a victory over Lazarus’ death whom He resurrected the fourth day after his death. Thirdly, this entrance of Jesus Christ, our Saviour, into Jerusalem, is an anticipation of His passions, of His passing through sufferance and death and of His victory over death through His own Resurrection from the dead. (…) Fourthly, this entrance of Jesus Christ, our Saviour, into the earthly Jerusalem is an anticipation of His entrance into the heavenly Jerusalem, through Resurrection, into the Kingdom of light, love and joy of the Most Holy Trinity in order to prepare for us, for those who believe in Him, a place in the heavenly Jerusalem, the everlasting one. The heavenly Jerusalem must be understood as the Kingdom of the never setting light of the Most Holy Trinity”, His Beatitude said.
His Beatitude has also shown that the Church understood the value and liturgical significance of this precious myrrh through the preparation of the Holy Great Myrrh used for consecrating the places of worship, the antimenses, as well as for the Sacrament of the Chrismation.
“This very precious myrrh called the Holy Great Myrrh is made up of several expensive spices or fragrances and it is used when a church is consecrated, for blessing the table of the Holy Altar which symbolises the tomb of Jesus Christ, our Saviour; for blessing the antimenses which symbolise the laying of Jesus Christ, our Saviour, into the tomb, and for anointing the baptised ones, thus for the Sacrament of Chrismation. Why that? It is because we are buried together with Christ through Baptism, die for sin and resurrect together with Christ to a holy life. This is why the baptised ones are anointed with this Holy Great Myrrh just after they are baptised, as a sign of their participation in Christ and of the gifts of the Holy Spirit which they receive for spiritual growth when they are baptised. Therefore, we learned from Maria, Lazarus’ sister, to worship Jesus Christ, our Saviour, and to give a spiritual meaning, for the life of the Church, to the precious myrrh which has become the Holy Great Myrrh of the Church” His Beatitude said.