How’s the Season of Easter going for you?
Things are great here – now that the light is coming to the mornings I’m getting longer walks. It is also the time of the year that the birds and squirrels seem to get busier: building nests and playing ‘chicken’ with the cars on the road.
And then there are the trees: they are becoming green once again.
Trees intrigue me – and not for the reason you’re thinking! Trees are like some ‘alien’ creature that just stands there and grows, all the while breathing in carbon dioxide and breathing out oxygen – the very opposite of what we do.
In other words, these ‘aliens’ keep us alive; these stoical, vertical stumps perform an essential service for our wellbeing.
Which is one of the reasons I respect trees – and is one of the reasons why I cannot understand why anyone would want to harm a tree.
What I mean by this is the wanton destruction I find when I go for my walks: trees whose limbs have been ripped off; trees who have been badly hacked; trees who, every time you see them, have been subject to attacks again and again.
The birds or the squirrels have done none of this damage, and although I know that there are many creatures and insects that can damage a tree, I also know that most of the damage has been done by a few peeps. For some of you, wanton destruction is your ‘forte’.
During this glorious time of Easter, you not only celebrate the resurrection of Jesus, but you bring back the word ‘Alleluia’. This is a word that spans both heaven and earth; it is also a word that is spoken by every creature – the ‘whole of creation’ rejoices with a loud ‘ALLELUIA!’ recognizing its restoration in Jesus.
When dad was doing his research (which really did not include him using his favorite search engine!) for Holy Week, he went through a lot of booklets all to do with something called ‘Stations of the Cross’. I’m not sure what, exactly, he was looking for, but I read along with him as he mumbled his way through each ‘Station’.
It was all very moving, peeps: walking alongside, and identifying with both Jesus, the crowd, Pilate, and a whole host of other peeps brought home to me not only the suffering of Jesus, but His great love, too.
There was one particular Station that got to me, though. It was the fourth one where Jesus meets His mom.
I’ve never had any pups – although I do sometimes have to treat dad like one – so I cannot even begin to imagine what Jesus’ mom – Mary – was going through. But despite all the blood, gore, pain, and insults, Jesus is clear-sighted and there is something He want to do – something He needs to do – all which happens when He sees His mom.
Back in the day, women were little more than property, apparently, and to live on without a husband or son meant almost certain poverty, and being shunned by society.
But Jesus cares for Mary even in His suffering; Jesus sees Mary and the ‘beloved disciple’ and says:
“Woman, here is your son,” and to the disciple, “Here is your mother.”
And, as the Bible then tells us:
“From that time on, this disciple took her into his home.”
It has been said that by this act Jesus gave His mother, not only to the beloved disciple, but to all who would believe in Him – she became mother of the Church.
Mothers are life. They breathe for us when we are in the womb; they nurture us when we are born. We cannot live without them. They are like trees, standing stoically before us, suffering when we suffer, rejoicing when we rejoice.
In this respect, Mary represents the mothers who do all they can to nurture their pups, but then suffer as those pups make mistakes or become subject to violence of one kind or another.
Mary also represents the ideal of motherhood for all those pups whose experience of being mothered was lacking: neglect, abuse, lovelessness.
I don’t remember my own mom in detail; all I do remember is her closeness and comfort. But that is okay, as Mary can not only fill in the blanks, but can show me – and all of us – the depth of love a mother can have even in the most extreme of circumstances.
Resurrection speaks of new life in Jesus – the one who defeated death. Let us never forget the life we already have, and the mothers who bore us. Their love for us is as important as the air we breathe.
Keepin’ it Real,