Spring is the season of new beginnings. The earth comes to life again after its Winter sleep. Everything in Nature is changing and promising new life. The long dark months of Winter have faded. The days get longer and the nights shorter. The natural world comes to life and the air is full of expectation. Birds and animals reappear and are busy building their nests and burrows.
Our native birds are laying claim to their territory and migrant birds begin to increase the volume of their sweet song as the temperature warms up. Hibernating animals begin to emerge and scurry here and there. Woodland wildflowers come into bloom giving new life and beauty to pastureland and hedgerows. Mad March hares are performing their eccentric leaping and boxing and lambs are frolicking around while their anxious mothers keep an eye on them. Blossoms dance in the wind and carpet the earth beneath. All is excitement and expectation.
March and April are certainly months of Resurrection. They come to us as times of change and of new beginnings. And what greater mystery have we than the Resurrection of the Son of God, our brother Jesus Christ. He came to us born of the Blessed Virgin Mary our Mother. He lived among us as one of ourselves, doing good to all and healing everyone who put their Faith in Him. When someone needed healing Jesus asked them, “Do you believe that I can heal you?” When they said “Yes, I believe” they were restored to health. Jesus has told us “Ask in My Name and you will receive.”
If we ask with conviction, we will not be disappointed as Jesus is full of compassion. Faith is not just saying “I believe”. It is the profound conviction and unshakeable surety that God is all in all to me. On Mount Calvary Jesus gave His mother to us to be our mother. She is the one who tells us “Whatever He says to you, do it.” How can we go wrong if she is always interceding for us?
After His death Jesus’ body was buried in a rock tomb sealed with a large boulder. In her rush to the tomb Mary Magdalen wondered “How am I to roll back the stone?” As she hurried along at the break of day, she heard her name being called, “Mary”. Then she knew all was well. It was Jesus resurrected. All obstacles were taken away. The tomb was empty.
Like Mary, Jesus calls each one of us by name. His care and concern for us is personal. His invitation is issued to each of us in our own circumstances. He addressed everyone when He says, “Come to Me you who labour and are heavily burdened and I will give you rest.” Why then do I weigh myself down with fear, anxiety, guilt, dissatisfaction or any other negative feeling that pulls me down?
As I know the past is over and will not return. The future is not yet and still unknown. All I have is this present moment. But the present moment is the most precious of all. Jesus whispers “Come to Me. Don’t be afraid”. Behind every moment the Spirit of Life waits. In the Now of life is everything we have ever been and ever will become. The present is what takes us into the centre of ourselves. Let us then drop our burdens and leave them behind.
In his book ‘An Astonishing Secret’ Daniel O’Leary tells us that the central doctrine of Christianity is the Mystery of Resurrection. Spring and Easter therefore explain the continuing resurrection of all creation. What God promises is “A new Heaven and a new Earth”. In one of his Easter Homilies Pope Benedict XVI describes the Resurrection of Jesus as a “leap in the history of evolution and of life in general towards a new future life”. Iris Hesselden tells us:
As Spring returns across the land,
It brings new hope to wake the earth
It touches all with healing hands
Lord, touch the soul in me.
Sr Abbie O’Sullivan