In the name of The Father, The Son, and the Holy Spirit, one God. Amen.
Happy Palm Sunday. Today everyone here is receiving their king, the king of Israel. We have all these hymns appropriate for the king and everybody is dressed in their best, even myself, I chose my best. We are here to receive the king. Our king is coming in, not on a horse; he is coming in on a donkey. We are shouting to him saying, “Hosanna. Hosanna to the son of David. Hosanna to the king of Israel”. We are saying, “You are The One. You are everything” and we are saying, “Hosanna” which means ‘save us now. We can’t wait one more minute. You are here our king, save us. We don’t want to live one more minute the way we are living’. Yet our King looks different; he is coming in on a donkey. When you come Lord come and bring something strong, show us who you are... show us your power.
Christ is coming saying: ‘have a different kingdom’, we are saying, ‘We want You to reign over us’ and He says, ‘Really? You want me to reign over you? Watch what you are asking for because my kingdom is not the kingdom of this world. What kind of kingdom are you asking for? Which world are you living in that you want a king to dwell in your life?’ I think the question is: Which kingdom is He reigning over, which kingdom am I going to join and what does his throne look like? We’ll see at the end of this week what his throne looks like; it’s the throne of the cross. He says, ‘If you want Me to be king you have to come with Me to the cross... that’s where My throne is’.
Who is the court of this King? Who are the people of this King? These are the poor and the cripple, the lame and the sick, the people that are tired. This is not any court; this is the way of Christ. The way of Christ is not maybe what we have in mind. When we think of a king we think of fancy clothes and big palaces. Everybody dressed themselves today to come and meet the king but our King looks for a different dress, He looks for the dressing of the heart. He looks inside each and every one of our hearts and He says, maybe He says, ‘I see you dressed from outside very nice. Who woke up this morning and dressed themselves from within? Dressed themselves with humility, with prayer, and with Christ? ’ You see this is the wedding garment that our King is looking for: the garments of humility, the garments that are stained because of service to the poor, service to the sick, love of the needy, and taking care of those who are suffering. Those are the garments that Christ is looking for.
Today as we celebrate this Palm Sunday and we say, “Hosanna to the Son of David. Save us now. Save us from this world. Save us from this life’. You see, they wanted to be saved from the Roman Empire that was growing in Israel and in Jerusalem. He is saying, ‘I am not going to save you from them. That is not what I am coming to save you for’. These people are staying and these people are going to be there for another 35 years and they are going to destroy this place. Live for a different kingdom. As we go through this Holy Week, let us follow our king to his throne, let’s sit next to Him on his cross, and let us dwell with Him. Don’t let us be the people that say today “Hosanna to the Son of David” and even on Good Friday we are going to stand and find people crying while saying, with their whole hearts, “We love you”, “Hosanna”, “Thine is the power and the glory”, and all these wonderful words but in the end the following week is the emptiest time of the year in the church. God forgive us. That’s not the receding of the king. That’s not the people that have received their King and are dwelling in the kingdom. Look inside and see which kingdom we are running after. Which kingdom are we shouting out and which kingdom are we saying “Hosanna, save us from the sin of this world. Save us from the love of this world. Save us from the sufferings of this world and lead us to Your kingdom in heaven”? We need a WHOLE new mind set.
All the plans that you are making for Easter: the dress, the suit, and all these things, I hope we plan right because our King doesn’t look for that type of dress; our King is looking for a different kind of garment. When He came riding upon a donkey they [people of the city] spread their garments, they took out their selves and put it under His feet... under the feet of His donkey and on the seat of the donkey. We need to take out ourselves. Get rid of ourselves and put it at the feet of Jesus and say, “I am not king anymore, You’re king. I’m not king or queen or prince or princess. It’s not about me Lord, it’s about You. You are king 100% in my life. I don’t have a say in anything anymore Lord. Lord can I be Yours? Can I be part of Your kingdom?” I wonder what Christ was thinking as He was riding in on that donkey and he is hearing “Hosanna to the Son of David”. I wonder if He is saying “liar” [but in a childish manner], enough. Next week you [people of the city] are going to say “crucify him”.... enough.... you don’t know which kingdom you want. Today as we pray and say “Hosanna to the Son of David” and we say lead us throughout the way into YOUR kingdom. I don’t want any other kingdom... I want YOUR kingdom. I don’t want the White House, I don’t want palaces, and I don’t want any of that stuff. I’m going to walk and I am going to follow You and I am going to walk by Your donkey. He went and got donkeys that no one ever sat upon before. There are parts in our life that Christ never reigned over before. There are parts in your life that Christ is saying, ‘let me in’ and you are saying, ‘Not this part, Lord, not this part. There are plenty of places for You Lord. Here I am, I came to your house, I’ll go all the way to You... don’t worry about me’. Christ wants certain parts in your life that He has never sat upon before: Parts in your friendship, parts in your work, in your careers, in your businesses, in your families, in your relationships. Certain parts in your life Christ is saying, ‘Lose them for Me. Send them My way. Let Me be King’.
I am not going to say much more; let’s fix our eyes and our minds on a different kingdom, the heavenly kingdom. One day we are going to stand before the throne of God with different garments. They’re different garments where you are going to be naked again before Him. He is going to have a certain garment in front of Him and He is going to look and He is going to say: ‘You understood very well. I am proud of you. The garments that are dirty with service to the poor are much more pleasant than the garments that are stained by sin and the love of the world’. Let’s chose the right garments and let’s loosen to Him certain parts in our life that we haven’t given Him the ability to reign over. We need a changing of mind. This week, every day when you say: “You are the power. You are the glory. You are everything”... if he is everything, how much does that leave for me? Nothing. Yes, you have to become nothing at the cross. Say: “I am nothing; You are going to be all in all in every part of my life. You are going to be everything in every small part of my life. You are king.” I wish everyone, every part of the liturgy; close your eyes and say: “Lord, you are King. Any place that I have not let You reign over loosen it and it will obey”.
Who would have thought that the masters of this donkey would just let their donkey go? But they obeyed, they let it go. These masters are other gods. These masters that are holding this donkey are other gods and they are saying: ‘Go to the King’. The gods in your life let them loose to the King; he is going to be the new God. He is going to be the new King. Let’s cleanse our temples, let’s cleanse our hearts, let’s cleanse our minds, let’s cleanse our lives... our lives from all the sin and all the wrong thinking ... let’s cleanse ourselves of all the false garments. Let’s start a new beginning today and say, “Hosanna to the Son of David. Hosanna in the highest. Hosanna to the King of Israel. You are everything. I am not going to go one more step without You being King of every part of my life. You’re going to be King of my money; You’re going to chose where my money goes. You’re going to be King of my words; I can’t just say anything in front of the presence of the King. You’re going to be King of my marriage; maybe the way that I am running my marriage is not according to Your kingdom. Ok Lord, You’re King... You’re King. My friendships: those whom I spend most of my time with. How about my time? Who is King over my time? I am king over my time” Unfortunately, I am king over my time and Christ says, ‘No, I am going to be King over your time. I’m going to chose what you’re going to do in your free time. Not to make your lives miserable and not to make you slaves but to show you life with the King is the abundant life. I had the blessing of being with his Holiness for the forty days in his paper residence who was going along with the King. He took me with him to the ordinations of monks. There is no better experience than to be with his holiness and to follow him everywhere, it’s great. Every step that he takes, you are like: “this is our patriarch, this is the King”. How sweet it is to be with our Lord. Let Him reign over all your time, all of your money, all your decision.... everything; He is King. Let us stand and let us say: “Hosanna to the Son of David. Hosanna in the highest. Hosanna to the King of Israel, the King of this Israel, the King of Jerusalem. I want him to reign over my life and may God be glorified in our lives now and onto the ages of all ages. Amen.