Whenever folks come to our parish for the first time, their response is almost universally the same: What a beautiful setting for your church! When I show them the inside of the church, I tell them that our “stained glass windows” are the natural scenery of our woods. That was brought home to me last week Thursday at our early morning Mass in the Trinity Chapel. As I began my reflection after the Gospel, I was stopped in my tracks: “Oh my gosh, there’s a deer walking toward the door!” It was a beautiful sight! I’m sure that no one remembered what I said after that . . .
As that day progressed, the image of that deer kept a smile on my face. God certainly reveals himself through nature. As our days slowly warm up and the trees and plants let their foliage emerge, we know that the Easter season is placed at the right time of the year. “See, I make all things new!” Christ’s resurrected body, his appearance to the disciples, the coming of the Holy Spirit, and the beginning of the Church through the preaching of the disciples all fit so well with the green growth of Spring.
People kidded me for planting pansies in the front of the rectory in the middle of April. I have to do this. It’s a tangible sign for me that Christ’s love blooms ever new. Hope is of the essence of faith. Joy and peace flow from the unity of nature and humans with our creating God.
I am not so naïve to believe that there is not still much pain in our world, our neighborhoods and in our families. I acknowledge that, too, but Spring helps me to understand that all the suffering and death of our lives can be transformed into new life if we but trust in the Lord and His message of forgiveness and mercy.
Alleluia! Christ is risen! It’s Spring.