Palm Crosses Make You Think

I’ll be the first to admit that I should stop and think, more. And act less.

It’s easy to get caught up in events and schedules, and rush through this thing called life.

Then there’s Palm Sunday, with the special Mass and blessing of palm fronds, which symbolizes the palm branches with which Jesus was welcomed into Jerusalem, right before his Passion and death on Good Friday.

Like many of you, I grew up watching my dad sit at the kitchen table after we got home from church and fashion the palm strips into origami-like crosses. He admonished us not to make them during the Mass, only after.

It’s always fascinated me how many different styles and ways people have of making them.

My (our) method involves folding just one frond, but some people use two or more. Some have fancy extra touches, like haloes or bows.

But, the best thing that happens at my kitchen table after Palm Sunday services is the stopping-and-thinking. Sitting there, alone and quiet,laboring over crosses that I will put on some family photos and Crucifixes, reminds me of this eventful week in the life of Jesus, and those around him. Forces me to think. How little most of them understood of events, probably like we are today about the events around us. They thought they knew what was happening, but most of them were wrong, wrong about what was happening around them, and to them. Some would figure it out, some never would.

So like today.

And it makes me stop and appreciate my dad, and the example he set (one of many). He wasn’t always a patient man, but he worked over those pesky palms lovingly and carefully, and, his came out much more precisely than mine. There was reverence, and the reward of a job well done. No doubt, it made him think as it does us.

I guess the palm crosses do more for us than I ever realized.

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