Palm Sunday: “Which Side of the Cross?”

We truly are a fickle lot.


We wave our palm branches saluting him and then call out loudly next week for the release of not him but “Anthony Quinn, give us Anthony Quinn!”

We promise ourselves to never swear again until we’re at a busy intercession, in Milwaukee it’s, 60th and Center Streets. We save money for our child’s college tuition but that 62’ flat screen, Full HD 1080, 4K looks pretty tempting. Our diets last until we pass a KFC.

We humbly lay our palm branches at his feet as he enters declaring him “king” today and call out loudly a few days later for the release of “Barabbas, Barabbas!”

We truly are a fickle lot.


We’re both thieves on both sides of him. We pledge a change and two years later forget what the pledge was. We seek forgiveness asking him for paradise while we don’t change a single aspect of our lives.

We plan a day spent solely with our son but something comes up with “the boys” and we get to cue the Harry Chapin song. “We’ll get together soon son, we’re gonna have a good time then.”

Our extra special effort in work is erased when we see no one else is doing anything “extra.” We say to ourselves, “Why bother?”

We are truly a fickle lot.


Our Lenten firm resolution didn’t make it to the Second Week. “Oh well,” we say to ourselves, “Things happen.”

That’s right. Things do happen. We’re not responsible for this or that happening. We find someone else to blame and wash our uninvolved hands of the matter. Sound like someone we know? His is the only other name mentioned in our Creed besides God, Jesus and Mary. I wonder why the Church did that?

We truly are a fickle lot.


We are and will continue to be a fickle lot until we discover that we are not the star in this movie we call life. We are all character actors – sometimes beautifully played and other times, wonderfully underplayed.

We welcome and honor him with our healthy, green palms. But those palms slowly and often mindlessly bristle and hardened to be returned. Where? Returned to the place we received them. Church. They are burned and placed upon our foreheads announcing to us that we are dust and to dust we shall return. I think the priest should say a new line when placing palm branch ashes on our foreheads on Ash Wednesday, “You are a character actor in God’s play. Perform and act like you know which side of the cross you’re on. Play it well and you may win an Oscar or at least a nomination.

We are a fickle lot, indeed.


Books by Fr. Joe Jagodensky, SDS.
All available in paperback or Kindle on
“Soulful Muse,”
inspirational reflections on the Catholic Church and U.S. culture
Living Faith’s Mysteries,”
inspirational reflections on the Christian seasons of
Advent/Christmas & Lent/Easter – a great seasonal gift
“Spiritual Wonderings and Wanderings,”
inspirational reflections on the Catholic Church and U.S. culture
“Letters From My Cats,”
a collection of letters written by my cats over twenty years
“Bowling Through Life’s Stages with a Christian perspective,”
Bowling as a metaphor for religion and growing up

About Rev. Joe Jagodensky, SDS.

A Roman Catholic priest since 1980 and a member of the Society of the Divine Savior (Salvatorians). Six books on the Catholic church and U.S. culture are available on
This entry was posted in Easter, Lent, Palm Sunday, Spirituality. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Palm Sunday: “Which Side of the Cross?”

  1. Jack says:

    Nailed it, again!


  2. Thanks. Good use of the word, “Nail.”


  3. Pat Oeffner Sand says:

    Wow, thank you for reminding me who I should be🙏🙏. It was thirty years yesterday that Chris passed – remember he had to get to Jerusalem before Jesus❤️🙏


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