Riding home from Mass this morning, my 8 year old flicked my 12 year old in the ear with her palm branch and my daughter screamed out in pain. Yes, the freshly blessed palm branch. Yes, screamed in pain. I reminded the younger that it was blessed and it did hurt while I reminded the older that it was just a palm branch. "And, by the way, did you say you were sorry?" AND, it all reminded me of the scourging that Jesus underwent for us and the line today that says if this is what happens when the wood is green, think of when the wood is dry. If the scream is what happens when it's a palm, how much more so the hurt that occurs with thorns and metal and iron grates peeling flesh? And the bad reputation when I talk about another. And the mental stress when I yell at a child's wrongdoing. And the loss of someone's good day because I cut them off in traffic. Raised voices. Raised fists. Hatred. Death. What is this world coming to? The flick of a palm branch. The piercing of thorns. "Father, forgive us." Is this the way when the wood is still green? This Holy Week, right here at the very beginning. May I just say? I am sorry.