This weekend there are traditionally more people at Mass. It is Palm Sunday and many people make an extra effort to make sure they get their palms. They will bring them home and put them behind a crucifix or a holy picture in the den or a bedroom. This is a wonderful tradition if it is done from the right understanding and spiritual motive. For too many, perhaps, the palm becomes some kind of good luck charm, some superstitious assurance that God will keep evil away from their home. But it is not that at all. When we receive the palm we are saying that we want to be like that crowd that welcomed Jesus into Jerusalem. We acclaim Him as our Savior and pledge to follow him each day. When we see the palm in our homes, it should remind us to re-dedicate ourselves to live as his disciples. What do the palm, the crucifix, or the holy pictures mean if they hang in a home filled with anger, selfishness, a lack of forgiveness and little love? As we enter this Holy Week, therefore, we need make sure that it is a holy week for us. The events the church celebrates are the very center of our redemption. We truly need to participate in them. Holy Thursday is when Christ, preparing to offer His life for us, gives us the Eucharist. The last supper of Christ is the first supper of the Church in which He shares with His followers down through the ages the salvation He will win for us on the cross. Good Friday is the day when, beaten and broken, He takes our sins upon Himself and atones for them by His obedience to the Father. Then comes victory!! Holy Saturday and Easter Sunday we acclaim Him risen from the dead, destroying sin and death, our final enemy. That victory is ours as well if we truly receive the gift He wishes to give us. There is little reason, it seems to me, for true disciples not to participate in each of these momentous moments. Jesus asks us, “Will you watch with me?” What is our answer? If you are at the mall on Thursday or Friday night, how sad. What does the palm really mean to you?
Will you watch with me?
Photo by Alexandra Gorn on Unsplash