Early on Easter Sunday morning, as I opened my kitchen curtains & looked out into my backyard, I immediately spotted four Goldfinch sitting at the bird feeder. I got very excited because I truly felt like they were a “kiss from the Lord”on this very different Easter Sunday and they were the first Goldfinch that I spotted this Spring;my husband & I had been waiting for them.I told my husband that seeing them made me think “this must be the way Noah felt when the dove returned to the ark with the olive leaf inits beak!”I felt new hope.On Easter Monday, did you see or hear on the evening news of the double rainbow that formed over NYC?This is Google's description of it: “After the downpour of rain and blustery winds died down on Monday night, a double rainbow arched over New York City's skyline, offering a brief moment of peace.It was a special moment for those who caught it from their windows—many of whom were taking part in the nightly 7:00 PM applause for essential workers. It was the perfect marriage of gratitude and hope.”I know that we’re told not to “look for signs”, but certainly be it yellow birds on Easter Sunday, or rainbows in the sky on Easter Monday over a city racked with death, truly only God could pull off such breath-taking sites,and those kind of “touches from the Lord” brings me comfort and I love seeing them.And speaking of signs, a couple weeks ago when I drove through Clifton Gardens, I saw rainbow signs every where….in windows, on doors, on lawns, chalk rainbows in drive-ways and also teddy bears all offering a way to say “we’re all in this boat together”, “we support each other”, “this too shall pass”, etc. I was so touched by seeing all of those signs of support for each other, as soon as I got home I placed a teddy bear in our front window.
We can agree that our lives have been turned up-side-down, maybe like being in a boat that is being tossed back & forth, but be it up-side-down or right-side-up, we know & believe that Jesus is our strength & He will be with us no matter what we go through. Surely all of us have a particular homily of Father Pat’s that stands out in our minds, and one of mine is the story of Jesus walking on the water. When the storm arose, the sea was chaos, the waves tossed the boat of the disciples, they expected to perish, but Jesus went to them walking on the water saying, “Do not be afraid”. Father Pat tells listeners that we too walk on water…. during the chaos times of our lives….this time that we are now in, indeed is a “walk on water time” for us, we are strong and we know we won’t sink. Jesus is forever with us, He promised!
We are in a “time” that we could never have dreamed of nor imagined….a deadly plague that has engulfed the world; it’s like the Great Depression again with so many people out of work, & standing in food lines; it is keeping us inside our homes, is making us wear masks when in public, is keeping us from our kids & grand kids and from our cherished fellowshipping with parishioners, and is separating us from our precious church and Holy Eucharist, but we know & believe that “God is in control, even when things look like they are out of control.” God certainly knows what He is doing….God’s timing is never off. Doesn’t it make you think that perhaps if this scourge had to take place, this is God’s timing for it? Being away from church during the final phase of Lent, then during Holy Week, then the Triduum & Easter Sunday, I believe has had a more profound affect on us as Catholics than if it was a different time of year. We feel the pain and absence of “Life” that we experience when we stretch out our hand and a Blessed Host is placed into it, and when we participate in all that is offered at church during this Holy Time of Year…..Holy Thursday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday and Easter Sunday are days filled with rituals and traditions and outstanding music that are rooted inside of us and takes us “deeper” into our spirituality and our walk with the Lord. How we missed being in church during those days! But…….our homes have become our church; our homes are Holy Ground, and we should always think of them as sacred. We are being comforted always by God, and now also by everyone at St.Ed’s in their outstanding attempts to keep us connected and in providing worship services. We are soooooo thankful!
We have gone through storms in our lives before, but never like this storm. We are also approaching something else we keep wondering about and that is “how do we get back to normal living?”.…..or will it be so different we will consider it to “not be normal” any more. So, now think of what Noah faced when he and his family and all those animals walked out of that ark! He had to start all over from square one! Again, remember God is in control……. but how can the world go through something so terrible and devastating and not come out of it without large multitudes of people turning to the Lord? Is this His way of telling or asking the world to wake up and “know that I am God”?
Be aware of Him, feel Him, feel His comfort, be aware of the nudges the Spirit gives throughout every day. Light your candles, keep your eyes open for Goldfinch and rainbows, stay in touch with each other, pray, meditate, play your praise and worship music because….. “The garment of praise lifts the spirit of heaviness”. Do not be afraid.
And, in the Lord’s appointed time we will all go rejoicing “unto the altar of God, unto the God of my joy and gladness.” And to God be the Glory!