"No one should seek his own advantage, but that of his neighbor." - 1 Corinthians 10::24
I spotted these red tulips and yellow daffodils sharing the same space along the road. They all seemed happy, each having their own spot, yet part of the whole space, not crossing their boundaries, but making a beautiful picture together.
Then I wondered why we couldn't take a lesson from the flowers. Instead of dissension and discord, stress and conflict, we should all just be working for the common good of all.
Heavenly Father, let our difficulties be made small, and our common boundaries be made one. Amen.
Chocolate bunnies, colored eggs, bunny rabbits. Easter traditions, but what do these have to do with the Catholic celebration of Easter?
Easter is the celebration of Jesus' death and resurrection, and new life through Him. Eggs, rabbits and springtime are symbols of new life. Rabbits, being very fertile, were often used in ancient Christian art as a sign of fertility and new life. Eggs were used to symbolize creation and rebirth, fertility and renewal. The hard shell of the egg is symbolic of a breaking open, the emergence of new life. This emerging is similar to Jesus as He broke open the tomb when He rose from the dead to new life.
Colored eggs also signify springtime and were often colored by boiling them with springtime flowers. The tradition of red colored eggs symbolized the blood of Christ poured out for us.
All of these symbols originate from pagan roots, and can be traced back to 13th century, pre-Christian Germany when people worshiped many gods and goddesses. The association with Jesus' resurrection came in the 15th century when Roman Catholicism became the dominant religion in Germany and merged with already ingrained pagan beliefs.
Wishing you a Blessed Easter!
We have all witnessed the short blooming time for the lovely spring magnolia bush. The entire life cycle of a blossom is only a few days with the entire bloom time for the plant being a short 1-2 weeks. Its life is so short: a mere breath, a puff of smoke.
"I was pondering [the life cycle of a magnolia blossom] for a while today. What seemed so strong and beautiful was only a few days later fodder for death, decay, and insects. In addition, what was presented so starkly to me in the story of the magnolia is something that is repeated in our human body and our short lives. Most of us live more than 4 days, but to God, our life is a mere vapor, a mist.", mused Elizabeth Prata in her blog post from May 27, 2014 entitled The short, beautiful life of a magnolia blossom.
"You are a puff of smoke that appears briefly and then disappears." - James 4:14
The blog post then went on to ask a question that is well worth pondering: What are you going to do with the time afforded you on your short time on earth?
"Yet it was our pain that he bore, our sufferings he endured." - Isaiah 53:4
I had a small cyst removed this week. Minor procedure; local anesthesia; no big deal. But the pain was so intense for two days. Even the most potent narcotics had no effect. I kept seeing images of the "Sword in the Stone" as it felt like a knife was lodged in my scalp.
Then it hit me. This is Lent. Jesus died for me. He was brutally scourged. A crown of thorns was pressed into His scalp. Nails were fiercely pounded into His hands and feet. A lance was thrust into His side. He had to feel excruciating pain.
What was I complaining about? I asked to have the cyst removed. Jesus did not ask for the pain He encountered. He just obediently and patiently endured.
Merciful Father, forgive me, and help me to unite my pitiful sufferings to the Almighty Savior. Amen.
"Looking at little life moments with a spiritual eye."