Thursday, April 12, 2007

April Showers

They fell from the sky...huge white fluffy flakes of snow. At first I thought they were dogwood petals blowing in the wind, the sky grey, forbidding on this silent Holy Saturday. But word spread among the RCIA retreatants that yes, indeed, it's snow.

Out they ran, flicking out their cellphones to call home.

"This is Mama, get out of bed. It's snowing."

"Robbie, it's Daddy, guess what, it's snowing!"

And I, incredulous at the unlikely April showers that turned into snow, looked up into the sky, miniature meteorological missiles hurtling down landing softly on my eyelashes, my nose tickled by the cold sharpness of each. How right was this snow, just a few hours before the catechumens will be dressed in white garments...will be washed in the clean holy waters of Baptism.

I look around and relish the sound of laughter, joy and happiness for a cosmic event about to happen to them. Laughter, which for this class was buried under the storm of sorrow at deaths suffered, life-threatening illnesses discovered, even domestic violence experienced that befell this RCIA class in a few short months together.

"It's not always like this, I promise," said my pastor helping calm the anger I felt at the injustice of crisis upon crisis. Why this class, I asked? Why would the testing be so agonizing this first year? All I said yes to was to teach the Catechism. Having my heart pierced was not part of my plan.

Then here, under the falling snow, I recall St. Paul's words, "Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep." (Romans 12:15). This wasn't a sterile classroom experience, it was learning to love as Christ loves...each of these Elect whom God called and is calling to himself. How can I remain distant from their intensely personal stories?

A few hours later, the church is dark save for the Paschal candle. "Christ our Light, " intones our pastor. "Thanks be to God" we respond. Yes, thanks be to God for the immeasurable Love that untiringly calls people back into his fold. Thanks be to God for the Light that pierces our darkened imagination flooding us with the knowledge that God is Love.

April showered us with God's grace.

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