I REJOICE AT YOUR WORD

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Opening Prayer

O Lord and Master of my life, take from me the spirit of sloth, despair, lust of power, and idle talk. But give rather the spirit of chastity, humility, patience, and love to Thy servant. Yea, O Lord and King, grant me to see my own transgressions, and not to judge my brother, for blessed art Thou, unto ages of ages. Amen.

— Lenten Prayer of St. Ephrem

TEXT

Psalm 119:161-176 NRSV

Princes persecute me without cause, but my heart stands in awe of your words.
I rejoice at your word like one who finds great spoil.
I hate and abhor falsehood, but I love your law.
Seven times a day I praise you for your righteous ordinances.
Great peace have those who love your law; nothing can make them stumble.
I hope for your salvation, O LORD, and I fulfill your commandments.
My soul keeps your decrees; I love them exceedingly.
I keep your precepts and decrees, for all my ways are before you.

Let my cry come before you, O LORD; give me understanding according to your word.
Let my supplication come before you; deliver me according to your promise.
My lips will pour forth praise, because you teach me your statutes.
My tongue will sing of your promise, for all your commandments are right.
Let your hand be ready to help me, for I have chosen your precepts.
I long for your salvation, O LORD, and your law is my delight.
Let me live that I may praise you, and let your ordinances help me.
I have gone astray like a lost sheep; seek out your servant, for I do not forget your commandments.

Matthew 21:1-11 NET

Now when they approached Jerusalem and came to Bethphage, at the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two disciples, telling them, “Go to the village ahead of you. Right away you will find a donkey tied there, and a colt with her. Untie them and bring them to me. If anyone says anything to you, you are to say, ‘The Lord needs them,’ and he will send them at once.”

This took place to fulfill what was spoken by the prophet:

“Tell the people of Zion,
‘Look, your king is coming to you,
unassuming and seated on a donkey,
and on a colt,
the foal of a donkey.’”

So the disciples went and did as Jesus had instructed them. They brought the donkey and the colt and placed their cloaks on them, and he sat on them.

A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road. Others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. The crowds that went ahead of him and those following kept shouting,

“Hosanna to the Son of David!
Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord!
Hosanna in the highest!”

As he entered Jerusalem the whole city was thrown into an uproar, saying, “Who is this?”

And the crowds were saying, “This is the prophet Jesus, from Nazareth in Galilee.”

Read

Let us hasten, O believers, moving from one divine festival to another; from palms and branches to the fulfillment of the august and saving suffering of Christ. Let us watch Him, bearing His sufferings voluntarily for our sake; and let us sing unto Him with worthy praise, crying, O Fountain of mercy, O Haven of Salvation, O Lord, glory to You.

— Palm Sunday, “Evening Vespers” of the Orthodox Church

 

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