Before anyone has a health emergency resulting from the title of this post, no, we are NOT expecting a fifth blessing at this time. However, since today is April Fools’ Day, I thought a little double entendre-style humor might not go amiss.
Today, Palm Sunday, we begin our celebration of the Paschal Mystery in earnest. Nonno and Deedaw were kind enough to meet us for Mass this morning; while the Passion Gospels are beautiful and instructive, they are also very long, and have been known to try the patience of very small children, so we thought it might be helpful to have a little backup. Thankfully, Nonno and Deedaw were enough of a steadying influence that all four of our tiny people made it through the entire Mass, except for the announcements. Having long, flexible palm branches for each child to hold probably didn’t hurt, either.
This week, for us, is a celebration of the new life we have found in Christ, a life that requires neither wrath nor fear, neither covetousness nor envy, a life that gives us the hope of a joyous eternity with our Lord and Savior. Because those concepts are somewhat less than concrete, we’ve had our challenges trying to explain the importance of Lent and Easter to the tribe down through the years. The best we’ve been able to do is to analogize with events that are within their frames of reference, like how good it feels when a parent or a sibling forgives you for something rotten you’ve done, or when you find that someone’s given you something for no reason.
Another analogy we’ve used for the Resurrection is springtime, when everything that seemed dead comes back to life. We’re not the only ones to use if, of course, nor is it entirely accurate, because Christ truly did die and truly did rise from the dead. However, we spend a lot of time decorating eggs and making anything possible from flowers. This evening, Bugaboo and Beanie managed to combine the two in a little craft project.
The project is pretty simple. Take a dozen or so plastic eggs, several stems of artificial flowers, and a roll of big glue dots. Strip the blossoms from the stems and use the glue dots to adhere them to the eggs. The end result is quite decorative, and the ladies are planning to give them to their grandmothers as an Easter gift (so if you know them, please don’t spill the beans — neither of them are among the readership of this blog). Here’s a little photo series showing how it works.
Today’s prayer: Lord, today we remembered Your triumphal entry into Jerusalem, when ordinary people like us threw down palm branches and their cloaks to honor You. Days later, You suffered an ignominious death because people refused to listen to Your truth, some from hatred, some from fear. Your Resurrection freed us from the need to hate and from the need to fear even death itself. Thank You for your ultimate gift, and help us teach Your blessings that all life, all goodness flows from You, and that walking in Your way, we celebrate, love, and honor the beauty of every life in every corner of Your Creation.