On Palm Sunday, our LORD JESUS CHRIST entered Jerusalem as a King. Since He was not competing with Caesar, He didn’t encounter any resistance from the Romans. The problems rose internally from His people, the Jewish leaders. There was a problem in understanding the nature of His kingdom.
The nature of the LORD’s kingdom
The LORD CHRIST accepted to enter Jerusalem as a King. His kingdom was near by. The day, when He conquers Satan’s kingdom by His crucifixion was close. The LORD wanted a spiritual kingdom, but the Jews wanted an earthly kingdom. He wanted to establish a spiritual kingdom based on love. The Jews wanted a kingdom like the other earthly kingdoms, based on authority of the ruler like Samson or Gideon or Joshua. They also wanted the external appearance of force expressed in armed forces. They never thought of a Godly kingdom. They shouted “Hosanna the Son of David”, that is to say, “O Son of David, save us”. They requested a son of David as an heir to the throne and crown of David, not the Son of God.
He wanted to save them from their iniquities, hence His name is “Jesus” or “Savior” (Mat 1:2), but they wanted salvation from the Romans. He wanted to free them from the slavery to Satan and sins, which is bitterer than the slavery to the Romans. Slavery to Caesar is limited to this earthly life, while slavery to Satan destroys man’s eternity. He wanted to reign on the heart; they wanted Him to reign on a physical throne. They never thought of what He told them, “Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed” (John 8:36). Both sides where destined for a confrontation of His and their thoughts.
The simple and softhearted rejoiced by His entry because He was humble (Zechariah 9:9). The entire city trembled (Mat 21:10). They showed their emotions by spreading their garments under His feet and held palm branches. On the other side of the picture, there were people who were not very enthusiastic about His entry. The Pharisees, scribes and priests considered Him a threat to their authority and prestige. His entry was their worst nightmare. The world had gone after him (John 12:19). They ended up hating, conspiring and, at the end, killing their own Savior.
Without question, the Holy Pascha week is the holiest week of the entire year. The artistic beauty and spiritual depth of the rites of the Coptic Orthodox church are at its zenith during this week. Christ’s crucifixion and resurrection are the foundation upon which is built the whole fabric of Christianity. This document seeks to serve as a guide through the journey of our Lord Jesus Christ through His passion and crucifixion.
Midwest Priests gather to celebrate Feast of St. Anthony
On January 30, 7 priests from the nearby area joined Fr. Rewis in celebrating the Divine Liturgy on the feast day of our patron saint, St. Anthony. Following the liturgy, they met together to discuss various issues concerning the service in the Midwest.
The priests joining Fr. Rewis included:
Fr. Youhanna Nasif (St. Mary, Chicago)
Fr. Hedra Bisada (St. Mary and St. Abraam, St. Louis)
Fr. Morcos Daoud (St. Mary, Chicago)
Fr. Pavlos Fahmy (St. Mark, Chicago)
Fr. Samuel Azmy (St. George, Chicago)
Fr. James Mikhail (St. Paul, Chicago)
Fr. Theodore Labib (St. Mark, Chicago)
May God continue to bless their service for many years.