BLESSED IS HE WHO COMES

Sunday, April 14, 2019

     “The disciples went and did as Jesus had directed them; they brought the ass and the colt, and put their garments on them, and he sat thereon. Most of the crowd spread their garments on the road, and others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. And the crowds that went before him and that followed him shouted, ‘Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!’” (Mt 21: 6-9)

 

     At every Divine Liturgy, in the middle of the Eucharistic Prayer, we proclaim these words of the crowds in Jerusalem. Right after we chant the “triumphal hymn” of the heavenly powers, “Holy, holy, holy…,” we follow that hymn with the “Hosanna… Blessed is He Who comes in the name of the Lord! (Ἅγιος, ἅγιος, ἅγιος,… Ὡσαννά… εὐλογημένος, ὁ ἐρχόμενος ἐν ὀνόματι Κυρίου. / Свят, свят, свят,... Осанна... благословен грядый во имя Господне.)

 

     Why do we sing these words, proclaimed by the crowds in Jerusalem, in the context of the Eucharistic Liturgy? Because, just as the Lord “came“ into our human “city,“ Jerusalem, for His Self-offering on the Cross, for our sake, so does He “come,“ at every Divine Liturgy, to Self-offer into Eucharistic communion with us, in our present-day “cities“ (or places where we come together in multitudes). And we, as Church, don’t cease to wonder at, and praise Him for, “coming“ into our chaotic and merely-human midst, which is our “city.“ Because He makes Himself vulnerable to the merely-human ambitions and chaos of our “city,“ which led Him to the Cross, every time He “comes“ into Eucharistic communion with us. Of course, Christ’s divine-human vulnerability overcomes and transfigures the chaos of our “city,“ every time, but we don’t cease to thank Him for that willingness to “suit up and show up“ into the midst of our nonsense, in the flesh (in His Body and Blood), as not every parent of “problemed“ children would.

 

     Thank You, Lord, for being the One Who “comes,“ again and again, into our lives, encouraging also us to “suit up and show up“ for one another, amidst the chaos of our “cities.“ Blessed are You, Lord, Who “comes,“ in the name of our common, loving Father, that we may also “come“ or just “show up“ for one another!  

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