On the occasion of Palm Sunday, His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II celebrated the Holy Qurobo at the Lady of the Girdle (Zunoro) Church in Homs.
He was assisted by His Eminence Mor Selwanos Boutros Al-Nehmeh, Metropolitan of Homs, Hama, Tartous and Environs. Priests, monks, deacons and the choir of Lady of the Girdle served the Qurobo which was attended by hundreds of faithful.
In his sermon, His Holiness said: “Here is Christ, the awaited Messiah – who was king, but not as the Jewish people had expected; they had not understood that His kingdom is not of this world, it is not an earthly kingdom, for Christ did not ask for armies to walk before Him, He entered Jerusalem on a donkey, walking on clothes of the people”. His Holiness added: “Christ comes in a humble manner, full of kindness, fulfilling the prophecies, with the children shouting aloud: “Here is our king… blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord”. Moreover, His Holiness pointed out that the Lord Jesus is a just, humble, victorious and kind king; these qualities seldom belonged altogether to an earthly king. He said: “Truly, Christ is not a king for slavery, but a king of freedom, a delivering king”. His Holiness asked if, today, we would be with the children welcoming Jesus as our king? or among the disciples offering our clothes and lives before Him? Or among the chief priests desiring to mute the crowds? He added: “if we allow the Lord to reign over our lives and world, we wouldn’t observe any famine, poverty, persecution or war”. At the end of his sermon, His Holiness prayed the Lord Jesus Christ to enter our hearts, and lead our lives into justice, humility and victory. He pray for the leaders of the world, inviting them to resemble the heavenly king. He prayed for the Syriac church and the city of Homs hoping that it will be completely rebuilt and life would return to normal in it soon.
During the Holy Qurobo, His Holiness presided over the rite of the blessing of the olive branches. A procession where the children were blessed also took place in the cathedral and outside the church.