This is the season in which we get to experience nature at its best, and sometimes worst. At its worst, nature can bring us tornadoes, earthquakes, and tropical storms that can change into hurricanes. We need to be vigilant.
At nature’s best, we get to watch the flowers and trees come to life. The grass becomes green. Hopefully, all the snow is gone. We also get to see new animal life. Farm animals are being born. Forest animals are emerging. And one that most of us have experienced, the chirping birds begin to hatch, whether they are robins or mourning doves, blue jays or wood peckers -- it is magic to watch.
As we celebrate the Ascension of the Lord this weekend or on Thursday, depending on your diocese, we hear about Jesus leaving his Apostles to go to the Father. During a recent homily, I realized that Jesus is like a mother bird. After his resurrection, he continued to instruct and encourage the Apostles and disciples. He was preparing them to leave the nest. And like all good mother birds, he knew when the time was right. I have yet to see a mother bird push her young out of the nest before its time. Jesus knew the time was right and he promised to send the Spirit. The Apostles would not be left alone.
We are like those baby birds. This is the time to fly, to use our wings to bring the good, joyful news to all. Jesus is calling even if we don’t feel ready to leave the nest. Are we willing to be pushed out of our nests of complacency, indifference, security? We have been prepared by those around us to serve the Lord at all costs, just like the Apostles. Jesus knows each one of us and he has made us to succeed, to be his image, his hands and feet in the world.
What are some of the things that make me afraid to leave the nest? What do I hang on to that stops me from flying? I hope this makes sense because I know we are called to soar with the eagles and live life to the fullest. As Jesus said so many times, “Fear not for I am with you” and “I am sending the Spirit” (Matthew 28:20, John 14:15-18).
May you have a week filled with little nudges pushing you out of your comfortable nest. God is with you.
Till next week…happy flying,
Photo: Sr. Michele Collins, CSFN, with Ricardo, her parrotlet. This photo was taken in Rome during Sr. Michele’s term serving on the General Administration. She acquired Ricardo in Assisi during the feast of St. Francis and has many fond stories of his companionship. Ricardo passed away in Rome shortly after she returned to the U.S.