A purpose for her palms
I first met her at Mass. She walked into church and welcomed me to “her” church. She walked slowly with an ornate cane. She told me about her arthritis and other maladies and that they would soon keep her from coming to church. But she was there every Sunday telling me about her new pains and who in her family I must pray for. I would watch her walking up the aisle slowly, looking like she was carrying the weight of her concerns heavily on her shoulders. Every Palm Sunday she would leave church with an armful of blessed palms.
Two days later, the neighbor who drove her to church would bring her to the rectory. She would sit in my office and uncover the beautiful and intricately ornate cross she had formed from the palms she had taken home with her. I could see the little cuts on her hands that came from her work as she gave it to me to place on the wall where last year’s had been taken down and burned for Ash Wednesday’s ashes. She would start to cry and tell me this would likely be her last one. Every year she told me that while she was making it, she asked Jesus to forgive her sins and the sins of all her loved ones. She called it her Easter penance.
I would bless her and embrace her and tell her how much Jesus and I loved her for it. I miss her and the cross today.
- Father Dominic Grassi
What's in Your Heart
Philippians presents Christ’s self-emptying as a model for disciples—”Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus.”
In what ways do you serve? Why do you serve?
Take the words of Isaiah as an example. How do you “sustain the weary with a word”? How does “the Lord open up my ear” to the word of God?
To endure the cross is not tragedy; it is the suffering which is the fruit of an exclusive allegiance to Jesus Christ.
— Dietrich Bonhoeffer
"But Palm Sunday tells us that it is the cross that is the true tree of life."
— Pope Benedict XVI
I think we all can tend to snooze
—literally or figuratively—
when fear strikes.
We can give in to the urge to hide in bed
with the covers pulled up over our heads
when life gets uncertain or scary.
But time and again Jesus tells us,
On Good Friday,
Jesus walks head-on to face humanity's greatest fear
—suffering and death.
If we don't sleep through his Passion,
we'll be awake for his Resurrection.