|By Fr. Brendan McGuire
Pastor of Holy Spirit Parish, San Jose and Vicar General for special projects, Diocese of San Jose. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Seasons of Life
Sunday, November 6, 2016
With the arrival of cooler weather and rain, we are reminded that fall has really come. And when the clocks turn back one hour, it becomes all the more obvious. When we see the leaves turning colors and the branches becoming bare, we understand the season of autumn. Winter is not far behind, but spring will soon roll around, and summer will come once again.
Some people look rather depressingly upon the leaves falling and the arrival of fall. Taken to the extreme, some could say, “The leaves, they’re gone. That’s it. They’re gone. They’re never going to come back!” Yet we would chuckle silently because we know they do come back and that there is a cycle of seasons. Yes, the leaves turn colors, they do drop and fall to the ground; then in spring the tree buds, and the seasons start over. We understand the seasons of our earth and the cycle of life. They are a part of the ebb and flow of our world.
As people of faith, we are reminded that there is also a cycle to our spiritual lives; death is not the end but a new beginning. It is just part of the cycle. After death comes the resurrection, the glorious summer of our lives. There are those who do not have faith and say, “Oh, we’re dead. That’s it. No more.” For us who have faith, we might find that shocking and say, “No. No. There is a summer. It’s called the resurrection.” There is also a temptation to give in and say, “You can choose not to believe. Choosing not to believe, however, does not mean it’s right or that the seasons no longer exist; it just means that you choose not to believe.” And that is okay, but it does not make a reality not real. The same is true of our spiritual lives.
Today’s readings are all about the resurrection and the faith of our ancestors in Judaism and in Christianity. They truly believed in the resurrection and we, too, believe that resurrection is real. It is one of those things that I am absolutely convinced about. I have watched so many people in the last stages of their life, and there is no shadow of a doubt in my mind that the resurrection is real. Not a single doubt. Now I understand there are lots of reasons to have doubts because pain is real too. Life has a way of coming at us that can cause us to doubt. And in the midst of the dark winter nights of our lives, we might wonder if spring will ever come.
We, as Christians, must live our life joyfully believing in that reality, by being forgiving of one another, by being more patient with one another, by reaching out and serving one another with joy in our hearts. Yes, the resurrection is real, and we live it here and now.