The first signs of Spring have arrived in our little home! Because our life revolves around the seasons of the Church and the rhythm of the liturgy, the first sign of coming Life is not the first daffodil or the return of our backyard birds, but the transition from Ordinary Time to Lent.
I love all the seasons in our corner of the world, but I have to admit that the tail end of winter and early spring is a bleak time. The snow is old and dirty. The exposed grass is brown, and the sky is gray. It is fitting that the Church is also stripped and bare during this time. On Ash Wednesday we are told, “Remember, man, that thou art dust, and unto dust thou shalt return.” We hide our Alleluia, and the statues and crosses are draped in purple. In our house, the winter ornaments that adorned the festivity stand are put away, replaced with grapevine, bare of leaves and reminiscent of His Crown of Thorns.
Then, slowly, the sky lightens. The first shoots appear. The rain washes away the last of the snow and the grass is greener. The time draws closer.
Finally, the world bursts forth in bloom, and the Church bursts with rejoicing, "Christ is risen! Alleluia, alleluia!”