So Ascension Thursday is here, my second least favorite Catholic holiday. My first least favorite as you know is Palm Sunday, where as a layperson, I’m supposed to not only pretend to “join the crowd” but where they’re actually going to hand me a “blessed palm” and I’m supposed to respond by thanking them instead of saying what I’m really thinking which is what the actual hell people? I know how this game goes. The one where you exalt someone and then tear them down to feel better about yourselves.
Don’t get me wrong. I do it too. But at least I have the grace not to celebrate myself too much on either end.
If it feels like it would too rude to just say no, I’ll take a palm. Apart from my thoughts on the symbolism, what am I going to do with a palm? Answer: I usually foist the palm off on my sister. She turns them into crosses by folding them. I’m not entirely sure this is any less disturbing. I mostly just smile and nod a lot – about so many things.
This year was actually the best Palm Sunday yet. It was a “fun” chance to make the best of a bad situation by adding my own running commentary to the Mass. I think in the future that if I do go to Palm Sunday Mass, I will more firmly refuse the palm and simply sit at the back with a journal and write my running commentary down, because seriously who cares people? Judge me all you like. You are literally repeating the cycle because – you know what? – never mind. Forget I said anything. Because, people always do.
As for Ascension Thursday, that’s the day when we “celebrate” Jesus leaving earth to go be with the Father in heaven. Well, guess what, Jesus is never NOT with the Father in heaven. Ascension Thursday is simply a reminder of all the reasons why I can’t see him face to face and have the hundred or so conversations I’d really like to have if I could just see him face to face.
I know I’m supposed to rejoice and everything. I rejoice that he died for our sins. I do not rejoice that we’re still doing this … whatever it is that we are doing for 2,000 years. While out there people are literally dying.
I do rejoice that Jesus may have left, but he never really left. At the same time, he kind of did. I miss you, all members of the Trinity, so very much.
With love, but a kind of angry brooding love, because you know why,