2nd Sunday in Lent (March 20, 2011)

Yooo-hooooo……Spring…..where art thou?? If you’re reading this and you live down South where it’s nice and sunny and warm, please send some good weather up our way!! In the meantime, we’ll muddle along and do our thing!

It’s not as though I’m losing hope, tho. I did make a big act of faith by setting out 8 bluebird nesting boxes around Fatima and around the Annex where I have the woodworking shop. I’ve seen bluebirds around, and hope the boxes will con them into sticking around. Dave Verhalen and I have been feeding the squirrels over at the Annex throughout the winter, and they’re now comfortable enough to come up and take the peanuts right out of our fingers. The swans are back and getting ready to nest on the island just off the shore from Fatima’s back yard. No mosquitoes yet…so that’s cause for thanksgiving too.

The ND basketball teams (men and women) have certainly brought a lot of delight to our days and evenings. The students are on Spring break, so the campus is quiet this week – I wonder how many made their way south!! It won’t be long till the time changes and we have several more hours of daylight after dinner, so that means nine holes of golf once it gets a tad warmer.

There’s all kinds of good things happening in the midst of this world’s uncertainties. If we go by the headlines and newscasts, one can easily be down: the budget imbroglios in DC and in state houses, the situation in the Middle East, gas prices, the tsunami in Japan last week, the severe weather in both coasts and in the Southeast… there’s enough to make a depressed person even more depressed.

But ya see, the whole purpose of Lent is to look for the positives, to look for the signs of God with us. Even a simple thing as putting out bluebird boxes is an act of faith and hope. It’s just as important in the cosmic scheme of things as Abraham leaving his homeland (First Reading) or the Transfiguration (Gospel). I know you probably raise your eyebrows at that statement, but it’s true. No act of love and hope is ever wasted – no matter how small or “silly” it may seem.

I was really captivated by a sentence in Sunday’s Second Reading; it’s what is triggering the thoughts above. Paul says: “He saved us and called us to a holy life, not according to our works but according to his own design and the grace bestowed on us in Christ Jesus before time began….” God created us in a very specific way. God set us in place to see, hear, observe, taste, smell, speak, and love in a way that is uniquely ours. Then we offer praise and thanksgiving in a way that no one else in history or creation can. No one else can bless and sanctify the world and the world’s people, places, flora, and fauna in the way that you can or I can. Wow!

Be God’s smile for someone today…your smile is uniquely yours too!

Herb Yost, CSC

Fr. Herb, C.S.C.

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