SIX DAYS BEFORE THE PASSOVER, Jesus came to Bethany, the home of Lazarus, whom Jesus had raised from the dead. There they gave a dinner for Him. Martha served, and Lazarus was one of those at the table with Jesus. Then Mary took a pound (a Roman pound of about 12 ounces)of costly fragrance of pure nard, and anointed Jesus’ feet and wiped them with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the ointment. But Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, one of Jesus’ disciples, the one who was about to betray Him, said, “Why was this ointment not sold for three hundred denarii (nearly a year’s wage for a common laborer) and the money given to the poor?” He said this not because he cared about the poor, but because he was a thief. He kept the common money purse and used to steal what was put into it. But Jesus said, “Leave her alone. She bought it so that she might keep it for the day of My burial.You always have the poor with you, but you do not always have Me.” When a large crowd of the Jews learned that Jesus was there, they came not only because of Jesus but also to see Lazarus, whom He had raised from the dead. So the chief priests planned to put Lazarus to death as well, since it was on account of him that many of the Jews were going over and believed in Jesus. The next day, the great crowd that had come to the Feast (of Passover) heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem. So they took branches of palm trees and went out to meet Him, shouting, “Hosanna! Blessed is He Who comes in the Name of the Lord – the King of Israel!” (Psalm 118:26). Jesus found a young donkey and sat on it, as it is written, “Do not be afraid, daughter of Zion. Behold, your King is coming, sitting on a donkey’s colt!” (Isaiah 40:9, Zechariah 9:9). His disciples did not understand these things at first, but when Jesus was glorified, then they remembered that these things had been written of Him and had been done to Him. So the crowd that had been with Jesus testified that He had called Lazarus out of the tomb and raised him from the dead. It was also because they heard that He had done this sign that the crowd came out to meet Jesus.
From Palm Sunday Evening Vespers:
Come, O faithful,