Quote of the Week
Have you never read ” From the lips of children and infants you have ordained praise’?”
7th Sunday of Lent (Palm Sunday)
9 April 2017
1st Reading/ Zechariah4: 8-14, 7: 9-10, 8: 4-5, 9: 9- 12
Listen to the Book of Zechariah: Barikh-Mar.
The word of Yahweh was addressed to me as follows, ‘The hands of Zerubbabel have laid the foundation of this Temple; his hands will finish it. (Then you will know that Yahweh Sabaoth has sent me to you.) A day of little things, no doubt, but who would dare despise it? How they will rejoice when they see the chosen stone in the hands of Zerubbabel!’ Then I went on to ask him, ‘What is the meaning of these two olive trees, to right and left of the lamp-stand?’ (And I went on to ask him further, ‘What is the meaning of the two olive branches discharging oil through the two golden openings?’) He replied, ‘Do you not know what they are?’ I said, ‘No, my lord He said, ‘These are the two anointed ones in attendance on the Lord of the whole world. This is the word of Yahweh with regard to Zerubbabel, ‘Not by might and not by power, but by my spirit’ — says Yahweh Sabaoth. ‘Yahweh Sabaoth says this.) He said, “Apply the law fairly, and show faithful love and compassion towards one another. Do not oppress the widow and the orphan, the foreigner and the poor, and do not secretly plan evil against one another.”Yahweh Sabaoth says this: Aged men and women once again will sit in the squares of Jerusalem, each with a stick to lean on because of their great age. And the squares of the city will be full of boys and girls playing there. Rejoice heart and soul, daughter of Zion! Shout for joy, daughter of Jerusalem! Look, your king is approaching, he is vindicated and victorious, humble and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey. He will banish chariots from Ephraim and horses from Jerusalem; the bow of war will be banished. He will proclaim peace to the nations, his empire will stretch from sea to sea, from the River to the limits of the earth. As for you, because of the blood of your covenant I have released your prisoners from the pit in which there is no water. Come back to the fortress, you prisoners waiting in hope. This very day, I vow, I shall make it up to you twice over. Amen.
2nd Reading / Romans 11: 13-24
A reading from the Letter of Saint Paul to the Romans: Barikh-Mar.
Let me say then to you gentiles that, as far as I am an apostle to the gentiles, I take pride in this work of service; and I want it to be the means of rousing to envy the people who are my own blood relations and so of saving some of them. Since their rejection meant the reconciliation of the world, do you know what their reacceptance will mean? Nothing less than life from the dead! When the first-fruits are made holy, so is the whole batch; and if the root is holy, so are the branches. Now suppose that some branches were broken off, and you are wild olive, grafted among the rest to share with the others the rich sap of the olive tree; then it is not for you to consider yourself superior to the other branches; and if you start feeling proud, think: it is not you that sustain the root, but the root that sustains you. You will say, ‘Branches were broken off on purpose for me to be grafted in.’ True; they through their unbelief were broken off, and you are established through your faith. So it is not pride that you should have, but fear: if God did not spare the natural branches, he might not spare you either. Remember God’s severity as well as his goodness: his severity to those who fell, and his goodness to you as long as you persevere in it; if not, you too will be cut off. And they, if they do not persevere in their unbelief, will be grafted in; for it is within the power of God to graft them back again. After all, if you, cut off from what was by nature a wild olive, could then be grafted unnaturally on to a cultivated olive, how much easier will it be for them, the branches that naturally belong there, to be grafted on to the olive tree which is their own.
The grace and peace be with you all brothers. Amen.
Gospel Reading/ Matthew 21: 1- 17
A reading from the Gospel of Saint Matthew.
When they were near Jerusalem and had come to Bethphage on the Mount of Olives, then Jesus sent two disciples, saying to them, ‘Go to the village facing you, and you will at once find a tethered donkey and a colt with her. Untie them and bring them to me. If anyone says anything to you, you are to say, “The Master needs them and will send them back at once.” ‘This was to fulfil what was spoken by the prophet: Say to the daughter of Zion: Look, your king is approaching, humble and riding on a donkey and on a colt, the foal of a beast of burden. So the disciples went and did as Jesus had told them. They brought the donkey and the colt, then they laid their cloaks on their backs and he took his seat on them. Great crowds of people spread their cloaks on the road, while others were cutting branches from the trees and spreading them in his path. The crowds who went in front of him and those who followed were all shouting: Hosanna to the son of David! Blessed is he who is coming in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest heavens! And when he entered Jerusalem, the whole city was in turmoil as people asked, ‘Who is this?’ and the crowds answered, ‘This is the prophet Jesus from Nazareth in Galilee.’ Jesus then went into the Temple and drove out all those who were selling and buying there; he upset the tables of the money-changers and the seats of the dove-sellers. He said to them, ‘According to scripture, my house will be called a house of prayer; but you are turning it into a bandits’ den.’ There were also blind and lame people who came to him in the Temple, and he cured them. At the sight of the wonderful things he did and of the children shouting, ‘Hosanna to the son of David’ in the Temple, the chief priests and the scribes were indignant and said to him, ‘Do you hear what they are saying?’ Jesus answered, ‘Yes. Have you never read this: By the mouths of children, babes in arms, you have made sure of praise?’ With that he left them and went out of the city to Bethany, where he spent the night.
Priest: Glory be to God forever…All: Glory be to the Christ Our Lord