Dear People of God,
We are still six weeks away from the “official” start of spring. It has been a somewhat mild winter, but all of our spirits are raised as we begin to see daylight extending into the start of the dinner hour.
Seasons do change and so do the seasons of our lives which also take on new colors and meaning as we grow older. It is important to see and experience the “seasonal changes” of our lives and never to focus only on the past. Too many of us live in the past or only focus on the future. We all carry a past (the saint and sinner in us all) and the hopes of a future where our dreams come true. Yet, God is found in the present moment connecting the past with the future. If we are not happy now . . . . then when? Do I judge too quickly not seeing the whole picture?
I share with you a story recently given to me. It is worth reading . . . . And passing on . . .
There was a man who had four sons. He wanted his sons to learn not to judge things too quickly, so he sent them each, in turn, on a quest to go and look at a pear tree that was a great distance away. The first son went in the winter, the second in the spring, and third in summer, and the youngest son in the fall. When they had all gone and come back, he called them together to describe what they had seen.
The first son said that the tree was ugly, bent and twisted. The second son said no, it was covered with green buds and full of promise. The third son disagreed; he said it was laden with blossoms that smelled so sweet and looked so beautiful, it was the most graceful thing he had ever seen. The last son disagreed with all of them; he said it was ripe and drooping with the fruit, full of life and fulfillment. The man explained to his sons that they were all correct because each had seen only one season in the tree’s life.
He told them that you cannot judge a tree—or a person—by only one season, and that the essence of who they are and the pleasure, joy and love that come from life can only be measured at the end, when all the seasons are up. If you give up when it’s winter, you will miss the promise of your spring, the beauty of your summer, the fulfillment of your fall.
Conclusions: Don’t let the pain of one season destroy the joy of all the rest.
Don’t judge life by one difficult season.
Persevere through the difficult patches and better times are sure to come some time or later.
The lesson of the pear tree contains a Gospel message for all of us. We have all experienced the different seasons in our lives. Even Jesus experienced the joys and pains of life all the way to the Cross. However, Jesus trusted God his Father, and all of us are invited to do the same. And, by the way, a life filled with love,forgiveness, sharing, compassion, mercy, faith and joy is always in season!
No Jesus, No Peace—Know Jesus, Know Peace,
P.S. Special congratulations to the following parishioners who give of themselves as members of the Board of Advisors to Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Chicago. I am pleased to say our Cathedral parish supports one of the finest institutions in the Archdiocese in their work to strengthen and support individuals, families, and communities based on the value and dignity of human life. I am happy to acknowledge and congratulate the following parishioners for their service: Mary Cahillane, William Conaghan, Rita & Ralph Dado, Charles Naso, Sandra Olson, Michael Toolis, Timothy Whiting, Ivy Wong, and Clifford Yuknis. Thank you for all you do and know our prayers are with you.