A Prayer on Palm Sunday

palm sunday begins our celebration of Holy Week.

Palm Sunday marks the beginning of Holy Week. And I don’t feel particularly holy.

Months ago, I had grand plans for Great Lent. I would leap into the fast with a vengeance and slay my dependence on food. I would read the scriptures. There would be more prayer and giving.

I had plans for this site as well. I would write more about how to prepare for Pascha. There would be fast-friendly recipes, and explanations of the faith. All of my plans would culminate in a series of posts on Holy Week.

Forgive me. I have failed.

The fast was a little easier than last year, and I did pray more, mainly due to the troubles and stresses of my life. But leaning on my own efforts has been an abject failure.

I fought with my family. I missed important church services. My gifts to the poor were inadequate. My writing in this space was so lax that one of my regular readers emailed to check on me.

And yet there is hope in my heart.

If anyone has labored from the first hour, let him today receive his just reward. If anyone has come at the third hour, with thanksgiving let him keep the feast. If anyone has arrived at the sixth hour, let him have no misgivings; for he shall suffer no loss. If anyone has delayed until the ninth hour, let him draw near without hesitation. If anyone has arrived even at the eleventh hour, let him not fear on account of his delay. For the Master is gracious and receives the last, even as the first; he gives rest to him that comes at the eleventh hour, just as to him who has labored from the first. He has mercy upon the last and cares for the first; to the one he gives, and to the other he is gracious. He both honors the work and praises the intention.   – St. John Chrysostom

This week we celebrate Palm Sunday, the entry of Our Lord Jesus into Jerusalem. It is the beginning of Holy Week, and we will mark the death, burial and resurrection of Christ.

I ask your forgiveness for shirking my commitments. I ask your prayers for strength in the coming week. And I ask God’s mercy and blessings on you. Let us be glad, for Christ has arrived.