Summertime officially begins this weekend as the darkness continues to give way to the light side of the year. A week ago we had equal day and night and that threshold moment when the two came together in one day reminded us of the gift of holding a balance between opposites. When we allow the dark and light moments and events of our lives to meet and be reconciled, we open a way for the grace of forgiveness, healing and peace to flow through us. Now is the time to let go the memories of dark, cold and disappointing days and turn our faces towards the light while opening our hearts with gratitude and expectation of new beginnings.
The season of Lent which the Christian church promotes at this time of the year encourages us through heightened awareness and self discipline to turn away from small self preoccupations and feelings of hurt and inadequacy to a self that sees all things in one great connecting spirit. This spirit is presented powerfully in the second reading of the fourth Sunday of Lent (2 Corinthians 5:17-21) The Spirit of the Risen Christ is presented as a cosmic spirit that reconciles and unites the whole of creation. Those who believe in Christ experience this spirit living in them calling them to be ambassadors of a new creation where peace, justice and integrity of life are primary values.
The photograph captures a peaceful moment on the shore of the lower lake in Glendalough this morning. This is the lake where long ago Kevin met and befriended a monster. As a result the lake became known as a place of healing. It is good to go to a healing place when wounds appear. We are all wounded in various painful ways but when we are healed of our wounds we are able to offer a more sympathetic helping hand to others. The great story of the prodigal son in Chapter 15 of St. Luke’s Gospel which is read on this Sunday tells of a father who is always waiting for his wayward son to come home and welcomes him with open arms and unconditional love when he arrives broken and desolate. In contrast, the older brother reacts with anger and resentment at his homecoming. He refuses to welcome him and forgive his mistakes and misdeeds. For all of us the choice is sometimes between forgiveness and resentful self righteousness.
Tomorrow is Mothers Day. The earth is our common mother. We must show our gratitude by taking care of her. We are bound forever to our birth mother within whom we spent the first nine months of our lives. She is the one who brought us into the world, watched over our first faltering steps and encouraged us to step bravely into the world when the time came for us to leave home. The bond of love that joins us together can never be broken.
A happy mother’s Day to all mothers great and small in this beautiful season of birth and renewal.