I am writing this on Monday of Holy Week and the temperature is in the 70s. The crocuses are blooming and I can already smell barbeques fired up. Life seems to be waking up from the winter. It was only a month ago when snow blanketed the earth and it was hard to even imagine that Spring would bloom again.
Today, we celebrate the fact that although Good Friday and Holy Saturday looked like all had been lost and all of life was thrown into confusion and despair, it wasn’t the end. It was only the beginning of a brand new chapter. Just like the force that pushes those crocuses through the hard earth to bloom again so, too, the power of the Spirit of the Living God raised Jesus from the dead. It’s that same Spirit that brings new life out of situations that seem as hard as the ground in the middle of winter.
Many of you know by now that one of our parishioners, Mary Mercer, passed away this week. We just saw her at Mass on Sunday and she went home to be with the Lord on Monday. Mary was a quiet, kind presence here at Nativity as she helped out in many capacities. I suspect Mary would now should out from her place in Heaven, “Friends, it’s about LIFE and Not Death.” Our faith reminds us that we are people who go through our crosses and our grief but we can never give up our hope or our joy. We will have tears and broken hearts throughout our lives but we can never get stuck there. We must remember that there is new life waiting for us.
As a community, Nativity has seen its share of struggles and grief but our faith reminds us that we can’t stay at the tomb looking for Christ. He isn’t there. He is in the places of Life! He is in the laughter of our children, the love of our spouse, the song of the birds each morning, the awe of nature, the kindness of friends, our moments of forgiveness with each other, etc. Yes, it’s time to celebrate life and one way is at our Easter Vigil as we Celebrate our wonderful brother, Anthony Sieregowski, as he is confirmed. We will call upon the Spirit to bring him the gifts that will help him excel as a disciple of Christ. Christ is always in the midst of life and even in death is bringing new life to us. Yes, this is a day to celebrate because we know the end of the story. Good will triumph over evil, love will replace hate, peace will come and blanket our world and all God’s children will have what they need. Christ is Risen, Alleluia!