“As he was now drawing near, at the descent of the Mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen, saying, ‘Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!’ And some of the Pharisees in the multitude said to him, ‘Teacher, rebuke your disciples.’ He answered, ‘I tell you, if these were silent, the very stones would cry out.’” (Lk 19: 37-40)

The Pharisees can’t stand the simple folk rejoicing and praising God, when Christ “draws near” to Jerusalem seated on a donkey, like the Messiah (Zech. 9: 9). But when they try to get Jesus to silence His disciples, He says, “if these were silent, the very stones would cry out.” It was a special time, foretold by many prophets, so even inanimate objects and the natural surroundings, (mostly made up of “stones” in Jerusalem), would be “crying out” at this point, were Christ’s followers to be silent. Just as His empty tomb, and the "stone" rolled away from it, was to "cry out" about His resurrection before people did.

It’s a special time now as well, as Lent approaches, together with springtime in my natural surroundings. The Lord is “drawing near” toward His passion and transition, on Pascha, to New Life for all of us. And while this will sound a bit cheesy, I must say, the “stones” of this beautiful city, as it’s early springtime in Vienna, are “crying out” about New Life drawing near. And I’m excited to restart and re-focus on Christ, on the wellness-program that is Lent, even while my natural surroundings seem to have got on that wagon ahead of me. Thank You, Lord, for “drawing near” to my city, once again, in this Lenten springtime. “Open to me the doors of repentance, O Giver of Life!”


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