Burning Palms. February 16, 2015

Last night a group of parishioners burned all the dried palms from last year to create this year’s ashes. What a sight, to see the flames bursting high into the dark skies. Within minutes, hundreds of palm branches were reduced to ashes.
This ancient ritual speaks to the soul on a number of levels. The sheer spectacle of the flames overwhelms the senses. What happens to the palms so quickly is something that begs for reflection and silence. Life is beautiful but fleeting , and the older one gets, the faster time seems to go. Within this somber realization comes the season of Lent, a season that is on the threshold of Spring, even with snow and bitter temperatures.
But in a few days, the lifeless, gritty palms will be transformed into crosses marked in one’s forehead. The cross transforms death and the quickness of time into Resurrection and endless Joy. Time ceases to exist, and with time’s demise, is the end of death.
Lent leads us gradually into warmth, light, emerging beauty….Easter!!!!
Standing near that blazing fire of lifeless palms, the warmth of the Spirit’s breath gave a hint of the Easter about to unfold.
Peace and Joy. Fr. Frank

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