It’s a Cold, Hard Frost this Paschal Mystery

In our little backyard gardens here, we’ve been enjoying the delights of spring florals.  Crocuses, followed by daffodils and hyacinths, and a flood of tulips, have filled our yard—not to mention our budding pear tree and dogwood.  My daughter likes to pick “bouquets” and we put them on the kitchen table.

So, when we saw the news this week about the “warning: hard frost” I thought, “Of course.  The night that begins Christ’s passion is a great time to kill Easter flowers.”

In anticipation of what will soon be the memorial of the last flowers, I walked outside—in the 34 degree weather we’re enjoying in central Indiana today—and took a close look at some of our flowering buds.  They are beautiful, small, and hopeful sights of a warm green future, literally full of hummingbirds and butterflies.

But not for long.

Does a cold, hard frost destroy our memories and hopes?  Certainly, the last year has frozen our worlds, stopped short many lives, and halted our ability to gather around an aromatic kitchen table with our loved ones and friends.

We cannot deny our reality—or the existence of death and destructive forces.  Covid, and 32° Fahrenheit, both exist.

Nor does the Paschal Mystery deny our reality—we proclaim Christ crucified.  Death and Destructive forces both exist.  But while this night may herald the end of my daffodils, this night is not the end for those of us who gather to participate worthily in these mysteries.

The dark, cold, destructive night will come—whether that night takes a single evening or 365 of them.  But God is present here.  Let us strive to keep our minds free of division.  May there be an end to malice, strife, and quarrels.  And let Christ our God be dwelling here among us (Mass of the Lord’s Supper §14).

Even if the daffodils don’t make it.

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