By Jill Mraz
We are always courageous, although we know that while we are at home in the body
we are away from the Lord, for we walk by faith, not by sight. ~ 2 Cor 5:6-7
Blessed spring. Long and longingly, we have waited for you. Late winter’s gray ice has been upended by the warm breeze in which we now move and breath and have our being. Subsisting on dark air these dormant months, tender green shoots rise, singing to their life-giving sun centered in the endless sky. One might ask, do they move by faith or by sight? Do we?
Today’s readings speak of small beginnings and the inevitable growth which follows when we simply let God lead.
Ezekiel: Thus says the Lord GOD: I, too, will take from the crest of the cedar, from its topmost branches tear off a tender shoot, and plant it on a high and lofty mountain…it shall put forth branches and bear fruit and become a majestic cedar. Birds of every kind shall dwell beneath it…
Corinthians: …while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord, for we walk by faith, not by sight…
Mark: To what shall we compare the kingdom of God…it is like a mustard seed that, when it is sown in the ground, is the smallest of all the seeds on the earth. But once it is sown, it springs up and becomes the largest of plants and puts forth large branches, so that the birds of the sky can dwell in its shade.”
The evidence for God abounds in nature. As Creator of all, God wove his ineffable love and wisdom into the physical magnificence we see around and in us today. I find within this dazzling panorama many evocations for the Mass. The rising and kneeling of the sun, the opening and closing of flowers in prayer, the liturgy of a river working with steadfast intent to renew exhausted oceans.
All of nature is inclined to glorify God. His tapestry can be found, most profoundly, in the very landscape of our inner selves. Consider our conscience: con/ with, science/knowing—the small still voice of God that guides us in viscerally knowing and choosing right from wrong. I imagine a diminutive version of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil rooted firmly within my solar plexus. Through an obedient adherence to this never dormant evergreen, God will provide the growth which, if hope springs eternal, may yet yield a tiny cone of wisdom.
The more that I allow the Holy Spirit to inspire and lead me in the good, the true, and the beautiful, the easier it becomes to simply surrender and cooperate, to weave the beauty I see around me into the daily practice of my beloved Catholic faith. Scripture is bursting with lovely vignettes. It is becoming natural for me to look at a waving field of wheat and picture Jesus, plucking kernels and disbursing wisdom as he moves along with his disciples. How I would love to walk and listen with them; the Eucharist, quietly at work.
One more glimpse into the interior—imagine a nun or monk in their tiny cell, deep in prayer. As the cells of our bodies are the smallest working units of living things, I like to imagine the Holy Spirit buzzing about amongst my cells, fecundating my soul with his fruits.
And just think, we still have heaven to look forward to!
God the Father, help me remember to let you lead and continually strive to see you in the world around me and within those, I meet.
Holy Spirit, breathe through me your goodness, in words and deeds, for others to hear and see.
Dearest Jesus, continue to show me the way as I strive to shelter and care for the little birds and tender shoots in my midst.
All glory be to God. Always. Amen.
Call to Action
Today, look around at the world God has created—marvel at the greatest and the least—thanking Him for all of it.
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