by: Sr. Mary Jo Chaves
The Season of Spring blossoms all around us as we smell its fragrance and enjoy the April showers! Tulips open to the sun; rhododendron buds are ready to burst in myriads of colors and lilacs lure us into their many blossomed stems. I find myself pondering these flowers and their connection to the Easter mysteries.
I like to think of the tulip as a reminder of all the nurturing that it takes beforehand for that flower to bloom – plantings in the fall, resting in the winter, breaking through the soil, growing in the sun and finally blooming! It might be compared to all the nurturing that Jesus did with Mary Magdalene. He healed her and she accompanied him all the way to the cross. Mary Magdalene is the first person to whom the resurrected Christ appears and she recognizes him when he says her name, “Mary.” I ask myself how am I nurtured and how do I nurture others.
The rhododendrons dance in the sunlight and when in full bloom they burst with beauty and awe. The only appropriate response is WOW! Mary, the Mother of Jesus, stood beneath the cross as well. Though we have no scripture passage about the Risen Christ appearing to Mary, it seems to me that she would be the first one to whom he would appear. She would have been filled at the moment with wonder and awe and she would have had the strength to keep living in the light of the Resurrection. I ask myself how willing I am to dance the dance of my life, letting others see God’s goodness and beauty through me.
As I ponder the lilac I am amazed at the mass of blossoms, each one perfect in form, each one bigger than imaginable when with the other blossoms. The disciples must have felt like that when faced with the challenge of establishing the church once Jesus had ascended to the Father. They would have to be bigger than they possibly imagined their lives could be before encountering Jesus. I, too, have the same call to follow in the footprints of Jesus. Will I say yes daily with all my brothers and sisters to living the Gospel message, being bigger than I could possibly imagine?
This season of spring and Easter will soon give way to summer and ordinary time. Don’t miss its message! Celebrate each blossom! Celebrate the Risen Christ!