Palm Sunday. The beginning of Holy Week and the Sunday when Catholics often think: “Oh dear, today’s gospel is the really long one!”
Yes, it’s the Passion of Christ, acted out from Jesus’ triumphal entrance into Jerusalem when palm branches were placed in His path, to His arrest on Holy Thursday and His Crucifixion on Good Friday. It also marks the beginning of Holy Week, the final week of Lent, and the week we anxiously await His resurrection on Easter Sunday.
Today we recall the crowds yelling “Hosanna” as Jesus rode a donkey amid the waving of palms. He was their hero only soon to become their “villain.”
Holy Week is a good time to think about who we consider our heroes and what we idolize. During our recent church’s mission, the guest speaker talked about what’s on our coffee tables and how those things often signify what we “worship.” Luckily, I do have a cross on our coffee table. I also have candles, books, magazines, and a clock. One of the books is on dresses; another is on the Sooners. Do I idolize them, and whatever I read in all those magazines, too much? Am I too obsessed with time and not take the time to count my blessings and instead rush through life? Hmmmmm….
This brings to mind the quote, “If you want to know where your heart is, look where your mind goes when it wanders.” What do you daydream about? Where does your mind tend to wander? What is on your coffee table?
I also like to consider Holy Week the final leg of my Lenten sacrifices and a time to jump start them. Being an empty nester, meals are sometimes a challenge to prepare for just the two of us and eating out often becomes the norm…or ordering in. During Holy Week I always give up fast food and eating out. It may sound silly, but on those nights when Smitty’s out of town something quick and via a drive through is sure easy. Not so this week. Instead, I’m hoping (and praying!) that my hunger for God increases, not my desire for a cheeseburger and fries.
Social media is increasingly proving to be a huge Lenten tool, especially for the younger generation. As they say, “this is not your parents’ Lent,” and it’s not. Popular apps like “Lentsanity” and blogs like “LifeTeenblog” are providing ideas and support and are being downloaded by the thousands. Even the Pope is tweeting. All this shows how relevant the Catholic church is even in our high-tech world. I’m pretty sure Jesus would approve.
So in this final stretch before Easter Sunday, let’s try to slow down and reflect. Reflect on what and who are really important and truly valuable. I’m guessing if we keep our hearts open and our eyes looking up, we just may find them.
A quick note: thank you Megan G. for the beautiful cross photo I’m using in today’s blog. I have never been able to make a cross out of a palm, as much as I’ve wanted to, and this one is the prettiest one I’ve ever seen!