Perhaps more than any other year in recent memory, our senses are primed and attuned to the changes in nature announcing the coming of spring. It can feel as if our life depends on the new life that is awakened by shifting winds and greater light.
The changes in nature are often subtle at first – perhaps unrecognizable as we walk our familiar paths. A bud here, an absent shadow there; both the result of a change in warmth and light.
In the early days on the precipice of great transformation, one must listen carefully to the whispers of the wind that invite the bud to blossom, rising from its enclosed and sheltered appearance – transformed and transfigured by a light and warmth that draws it into new life leaving behind a former way of being.
The Spirit, calling the bud gently forth in the warmth of a new season, whispers that its only job is to blossom into the beautiful flower it was created to be, playing its part in the symphony of God’s creative process.
Easter Season appropriately ends with a beginning.
“On the day the Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. And there came a sound like the rush of a
wind. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages as the Spirit gave them ability. And at this sound the crowd gathered and was bewildered, because each one heard them speaking in the native language of each”. (Acts 2:1-2,4,6)
The Spirit of God filled, empowered and transformed those who patiently waited for it. The Spirit gave the apostles, those entrusted to embody the Spirit of Love, new words, phrases and images to relate to people in a new way that they could understand.
The Spirit opened eyes and hearts to a new way of seeing and relating. This new way was personal, astonishingly surprising, humbling and above all it was inclusive. The Spirit taught them that “God shows no partiality” (Rom 2:11), for God needs all to bloom in love for God’s love to transform the world.
God did not require those seeking the Spirit of Christ to learn a new language or to change who they were to receive the Spirit. They simply needed to open their hearts and minds to a God that wanted to whisper gently in ways and words they could understand and to provide the warmth and light needed to seek and bring forth something risen, transformed and transfigured within themselves.
The Spirit arrives to encourage transformation.. to draw us forward to become who we are meant to be in God so that the Spirit of new life and love may blossom everywhere.
Chris Donovan is a frequent speaker on Scripture and Spirituality. She holds a Master of Theology (Th.M.) and a Post-Master’s Certificate in Spiritual Formation from Boston College School of Theology and Ministry, as well as a Master of Theological Studies (M.T.S.) from Weston Jesuit School of Theology. Chris is an associate member of the Catholic Biblical Association and the Carmelite Contemplative Community of Reno, Nevada.