- Sermon - Hosanna Sunday, 1st April 2012 : Mark 11:1-18
“Just say, our Lord needs the colt and will return it soon.” (Mark 11:3)
Jesus needs you.
All our glory comes from Jesus; not from our fame, talent, money, family status, health or beauty. Let us be humble, holy and innocent. “No eye has seen, no ear has heard and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him.” (1 Corinthians 2:9)
Glorifying oneself the norms of the materialistic world. In all realms of the spiritual centers in overt or covert way, this is in practice and we are missing Jesus in his concrete form and the praise of Hosanna -the Greek word Hosanna is an exclamation of praise which literally means “SAVE NOW”. “Lord, please save us. Please, Lord, please give us success. Bless the one who comes in the name of the Lord - Psalms 118:25,26. We should be humble like His disciples, the children and the common crowd in Jerusalem who spread their cloaks on the road, spread the branches that they had cut in the fields, and praised him "Hosanna".
Till Jesus took his human form, God was an abstract idea. In visions, feelings, dreams and through other mediums, God showed His appearance and character to humanity. But then, God took human form, lived, died and rose on the third day. He is still living with us in spirit to see, touch and to live in him with all the beauty, success and happiness of life. So, let us be humble and pure to sing Hosanna on Hosanna Sunday and the life in eternity with ever fresh palm leaves. ”God blesses those who are humble, for they will inherit the whole earth” - Mathew 5:5 and “God blesses those whose hearts are pure, for they will see God” - Mathew 5:9.
There is a story of what happened on the Monday after Palm Sunday. The donkey awakened, his mind still savoring the afterglow of the most exciting day of his life. Never before had he felt such a rush of pleasure and pride. He walked into the town and found a group of people by the well. “I’ll show myself to them.” he thought. But they did not notice him. They went on drawing water and paid him no attention. “Throw your garments down,” he said crossly. “Don’t you know who I am?" They just looked at him in amazement. Someone slapped him across the tail and ordered him to move. The donkey said, “I will just go to the market where the good people are. They will remember me. But the same thing happened there too. No one paid any attention to the donkey as he strutted down the main street of the market place. “The palm branches! Where are the palm branches?” he shouted. “Yesterday you threw palm branches.” Hurt and confused, the donkey returned home to his mother. “Foolish child,” she said gently “Don’t you realize that without Him, you are just an ordinary donkey.”
Very Rev. Kaniamparabil Kurian Cor Episcopa of Syriac orthodox Church in India, is a living example of humility. You can always hear him say, "I’m the Lord’s donkey" and ”He needs this donkey to be elevated to the highest." He hails from an ordinary pious Christian family in central Kerala – Kanjiramattom. He has become the encyclopedia of Syraic language and he is the authority of that language now in the world. He was the dean of syraic language in Mahatma Gandhi and Kerala universities. He is a prolific writer dealing with all subjects in authority, especially the history of Christianity and the Bible. He is decorated as the Chief of all the Malpans of Syriac Orthodox church by the Patriarch of Antioch and all the east.
Without any formal college education or wealth, there is none to challenge him to be the Priest -Trustee of 22 million Syriac Christians in India and abroad. From what I have seen, there is no layman, priest or archbishop as simple and humble as Cor-Episcope Achen in Kerala. Once I got the opportunity to be with him in the parsonage in Chennai while taking a US visa. I was fortunate to have experienced his humbleness and purity in dealing with the people and the consulate staff in Chennai. Immaterial of my status, he considered me to represent and deal with the staff and people. He often says, “I am a donkey and all my glory comes from Jesus. And Jesus needs me - Kurian the donkey. Without Jesus, I am an ordinary donkey.”
The holy spirit lives where there is purity and humbleness.
This all happened to fulfill the prophecy made more than 500 years ago of the Palm Sunday by Prophet Zachariah. “Rejoice, O people of Zion. Shout in triumph. O people of Jerusalem! Look your king is coming to you. He is righteous and victorious, yet he is humble, riding on a donkey - riding on a donkey’s colt“ - Zechariah 9;9. So the prophecies of his second coming are just as certain to come true. We are to be ready for his return with humbleness, sheer purity and holiness to welcome with the shouting and crying of “Hosanna"! Blessings on the one who comes in the name of the Lord. Blessings on the kingdom of our father David! Hosanna in the highest heaven” - Mark 11:9,10.