This week-end the weather seemed comfortable, cooler though a bit windy at times. Perhaps fall is actually here, maybe it’s been here already, maybe winter has also been here.
The changing of the seasons is frequently a way of describing the natural cycle that accompanies all of life: Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter. Winter is a time when the night is longer, the fields are desolate, the sky is grey. Maybe, this is what we have been experiencing ever since the pandemic struck. All that was bright and promising became dull and difficult, and then more and more difficult – winter at full force.
And we learn, it is nature’s way, it is an invitation: to be still, to ponder, to pray and hope and begin to see a new springtime. Hope is never to be confused with wishful thinking. Wishful thinking is often created by a certain longing tinged with magical thinking and the anguish created by an uncomfortable or terrifying reality. This is not to be denigrated, but it is not hope. Hope does arise when there is a stillness that moves us to recognize that “all things are passing, God remains forever”. There is no denial, no wishing away reality. Quite the opposite, a clear-eyed view that is accepting of what is and reject that tragedy be the end all. Only God remains forever.
The steady movement takes us to prayer, it is paradoxical for some, but you and I know that this gentle movement in the soul that takes us to a prayer that draws us to thanksgiving. Beyond a word of thanks because we have not yet been infected or because we have survived, or because at least we don’t have it as bad as someone else. It is a prayer and experience of thanksgiving, in a profound way, because we are able with reverence to acknowledge the ever presence of God. And this is what hope is about.
Hope is an already and always experience of the Lord in our midst, and if he is with us, then winter will become springtime. In a beautiful way, this is already such a foretaste of springtime that we know it to be already here! Before this happens though, we need to be still, to ponder and pray.
In the springtime the birds and the bees do their thing, the trees begin to blossom and its creation becoming a New Creation. This is exciting, that hope might already bring spring to our door step. This makes me think of how discipleship is not enough. Tere Maya, CCVI in her presentation at the Quinto Encuentro, made this a highlight. The Lord calls us and then he sends us. To be a new creation, a New Church demands that we not hold on to the way it used to be; the way we used to be. We got to let go, like the fishermen let go of their nets to become disciples and then be sent. With a sense of springtime coming, we got to allow ourselves to be sent – to be missionaries. To be missionaries makes it real and concrete, it makes our identity as Christians credible. Tere Maya was prophetic:
When our black or brown brothers and sisters see unchecked violence against their community, where is our willingness to enter into the uncomfortable and urgent conversations on racism? With our politics all about a rigid ideology where are the faithful citizens who promote all human beings, who celebrates difference? We are summoned to do more, the Reign of God is always beyond our reach, but we still have to try harder! ¡Tenemos que echarle mas ganas!
It’s our turn, we have to do our thing!