Laying Down the Palms For Our Lord And First Responders
by Alex Garrett
Well, here we are. Another day in quarantine in New York City, and yet the sun is shining so bright! I’ve always loved this time of year because of the smells, the sights, and the idea of rebirth! Sure, baseball should be up and running at this time, but today feels bigger than sports.
Today, Palm Sunday kicks off Holy Week, which leads to Easter Sunday! While we are used to standing outside our church during the blessing of the palms, this year is no doubt different.
We may be social distancing from each other out of safety, but God is not social distancing from us. I genuinely feel that, and I hope you do too! It is eerie not to be able to hold the palms in my hands this year outside Church of the Holy Family on E. 47th street in NYC with my dad. To process this change, I’ve realized we still can lay the palms down for Christ in our hearts and minds as He enters this tumultuous time to guide us through.
What I would also love to see this Palm Sunday is somehow, someway, laying the palms down at ER entrances across the country. They should be laid down in honor of the suffering and the hardworking doctors and healthcare workers working to defeat COVID-19. What these healthcare workers are doing around the clock is Christ-like, wouldn’t you agree?
Having been in the care of loving doctors and nurses at the beginning of life in the NICU, I have always thought that the healthcare system is a creation of God, too! While we can debate about how healthcare should be run, ultimately, I believe it is God who puts on this Earth, people with care-giving, problem-solving through medicinal creations, and healing skill-sets that can get the sick through a crisis. Medicine, created by those doing good, is, therefore, a blessing from God, and we should never turn away from solutions that can heal the sick.
To lay palms at the feet of healthcare workers, then, makes sense! If not this year, perhaps, as a friend recommends, a tradition can start next year to lay palms at the entrances of ER’s around the country in a show of appreciation.
This year, however, let’s show them, love, through the 7 PM cheers, and the everlasting prayers we continue to have for our first-responders and those who suffer, and mentally lay down the palms this season.
Have a blessed Palm Sunday!