As an avid gardener, I love the arrival of springtime. I am constantly amazed by the miracle of rebirth that I witness each year in my garden.
So for me it seems only logical that we should celebrate Easter (March 27 this year) just as the earth is beginning to come back to life. After all, just when the disciples thought Jesus had left them for good, he returned to them as he had promised.
A Living Example
Each spring, as I prepare my garden for the coming year and myself for Easter, I am reminded once again to make room for God in all aspects of my life.
During Lent, we struggle to clear away all the debris that has been piling up and cluttering our lives in order to be reborn on Easter. Sometimes it seems like a futile task. But just as I know that I have to gather up the leaves and sticks left by fall and winter storms so that the new flowers can emerge, I’m reminded that I have to clear a path within myself.
There have been many times when I’m sure that the flower bulbs I so carefully planted the previous fall aren’t going to bloom or have fallen prey to some creature during the long, cold winter. But then I will see a tiny green leaf beginning to poke through the soil. Point well taken—have faith.
Trust, hope, faith, new life—all these Easter themes play out before my eyes. They remind me of God’s plan for me—and the world around me.
Ways to Celebrate
Easter, the most important celebration of our faith, is rich with symbols and reminders of God’s love for us. Here are some suggestions for ways to remind ourselves of the gifts of Easter:
• Take a trip to a zoo, farm or park. Try to locate all the different signs of new life that you see.
• Gather the family and spend the day in the garden. If it’s too early to plant in your area, spend the day getting your garden ready for planting or for emerging plants. Try planting a theme garden this year. The books Mary’s Flowers: Gardens, Legends and Meditations and Healing Plants of the Bible: History, Lore and Meditations, by Vincenzina Krymow (both from St. Anthony Messenger Press), offer some ideas. Or for a more whimsical idea, try planting a pizza garden with tomatoes, herbs, peppers, etc.
• Many of the symbols of Easter represent new life in some way, like Easter eggs, lambs, bunny rabbits and certain types of baked goods, such as hot cross buns. Identify some of these symbols and discover what they represent. You may already know this, or you may need to look for the information in a book or on the Internet.
• Check to see if your parish offers any seasonal activities. Our parish often has booklets in the back of church with various reflections and activities for the Lenten and Easter season. Check the bulletin to see if your parish is sponsoring any family activities during the Easter season.
Next Month: Celebrating New Life