Passion (Palm) SundayCommentary of the day
Saint Andrew of Crete (660-740), monk and Bishop
Sermon for Palm Sunday; PG 97,1002
Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord, the king of Israel! (Jn 12:13)
Have courage, daughter of Zion, do not be afraid. Behold, your king comes to you, humble and mounted on a colt, the foal of a beast of burden (Zec 9:9). He is coming who is everywhere present and pervades all things; he is coming to achieve in you his work of universal salvation. He is coming who came to call to repentance not the righteous but sinners (Lk 5:32), coming to recall those who have strayed into sin. Do not be afraid, then: God is in the midst of you, and you shall not be shaken (Ps 46:6) Receive him with open, outstretched hands, for it was on his own hands that he sketched you. Receive him who laid your foundations on the palms of his hands. Receive him, for he took upon himself all that belongs to us except sin, to consume what is ours in what is his... Rejoice exceedingly, daughter of Jerusalem, sing and leap for joy... Be enlightened, for the light has come to you and the glory of the Lord has risen over you (Is 60:1).
What kind of light is this? It is that which enlightens every man coming into the world (Jn 1:9). It is the everlasting light... revealed in time, the light manifested in the flesh although hidden by nature, the light that shone round the shepherds and guided the Magi. It is the light that was in the world from the beginning, through which the world was made yet the world did not know it. It is that light which came to its own, and its own people did not receive it.
And what is this glory of the Lord? Clearly it is the cross on which Christ was glorified, he, the radiance of the Father's glory, even as he said when he faced his passion: Now is the Son of Man glorified, and God is glorified in him, and will glorify him at once (Jn 13:31). The glory of which he speaks here is his lifting up on the cross, for Christ's glory is his cross and his exaltation upon it, as he plainly says: When I have been lifted up, I will draw all men to myself (Jn 12:32).