To Be Read from the Pulpit and Printed in the Bulletin

Beloved in Christ,

Blessings and joy to you on this great feast of Palm Sunday!

Today we celebrate our Lord’s entry into Jerusalem, on His way to save us through the Cross. As the King of Glory rode into His Holy City, the crowds cheered and welcomed Him, but their leaders groaned and plotted against Him. The peoplerejoiced and waved the signs of victory, but the leaders accused and prepared a bribe. Those who embraced Christ found life in Him, while those who resisted Him stumbled over the Cornerstone, to their destruction. Having completed the course of the Fast, let us join those blessed crowds in warmly receiving our Savior, in order to be redeemed anew this year.

While we rejoice spiritually, we are also saddened by the serious humanitarian challenges confronting our Mother Church of Antioch. Having endured years of war, its historic homelands now face the dual health and economic catastrophes of the pandemic.

Each year on this feast day, we ask you to give generously to support our Antiochian Patriarchate in their work to restore and rebuild. Whatever our personal background, we share Antioch as our spiritual mother, and we are mindful of St Paul’s admonition: “If anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever” (1 Tim. 5:8, NKJV). Let us provide for our spiritual kinsmen, in true faithfulness to our good and loving God.

Wishing you an enriching Holy Week and glorious Pascha, I remain,

Your Father in Christ,

+JOSEPH
Archbishop of New York and Metropolitan of all North America