I was raised Catholic. Although I don’t practice anymore, it’s still a part of who I am and I occasionally go to church. I think going gives me a sense of connection to my past and to the community. I often, by sheer randomness, show up at church on Palm Sunday. I just think, “it would be nice to go to church today,” and as I walk in, someone hands me a palm frond. This has happened a few times including once when I was in Rome and my brother and I walked into crowds of people who were heading to St. Peter’s Square for Palm Sunday mass. We had to join them.
Next Sunday is Palm Sunday. As I’ve gotten older and returned to church, I’ve often been frustrated by the homilies or sermons the priests delivered. My whole life they were never relatable. I didn’t connect to it at all and found myself daydreaming instead. As an adult, I try very hard to understand what’s the underlying meaning that they are trying to convey.
I believe that there are lessons to be learned in most everything we experience. I believe Jesus was learning and teaching lessons. Relatable lessons. The best priest, in my opinion, who clearly related these lessons, was Father Paul Waldie from St. Benedict’s in Wallingford. I was completely enraptured by his sermons. He was honest, relevant, and inclusive. Learning from Father Paul, I try to take apart the Catholic holidays and stories and truly try to see “what can I learn”. That’s the whole point of life – to learn and grow.
So, as Palm Sunday approaches and surprises me again with is arrival, I have to stop and think, “What is it about Palm Sunday? What is the relatable meaning in this feast day?”
Palm Sunday was the day Jesus made his triumphant return to Jerusalem on a donkey. The townspeople showered him with palm fronds. What does this mean to you and me? What are the lessons and reflections for us, in the modern, 21st century?
As I believe it, this is a time for us to make peace within. It’s a time for us to reflect on what might be causing us turmoil so that we can
release it and move on. It’s a time for us to shower forgiveness on those that have hurt us. It’s a time to be kind to ourselves and acknowledge where we are today and the steps we’ve taken.
Spring is a time of renewal. What was dormant is coming to life. What’s been dormant in your life that you need to re-awaken? What do you need to release before you can awaken?
Take the time this week to reflect on letting go of the old so that you can come alive again.