The signs of spring are finally all around us.
The crocus has bloomed in brilliant purple. The nation’s capital has witnessed the peak of the cherry blossoms. The landscape of the city is beginning to display the first colors of the forsythia and the dogwood.
Students are getting a break from classes and baseball has returned to the playing fields of the nation.
New members are being welcomed into the Church as the catechumens are baptized at Easter Vigils around the world and candidates are given the first sacraments as they enter into full communion with the Church community.
All around us, true to its promise, spring has sprung. People are beginning to feel better about themselves, just as they knew they would despite the lingering cold and darkness of winter.
In the Diocese of Albany, there had been sadness when the mandatory retirement at age 75 of its popular leader Bishop Howard Hubbard took place. The uncertainty now has been turned into joy and new life with the installation of its new Bishop, Edward B. Scharfenberger, a native of Queens.
As sure as spring follows winter, an appointment has replaced a resignation and there is new hope and plans for renewal.
The signs of resurrection are all around us as the Church calendar reminds us of that hope with the celebration of Easter, the Resurrection of Jesus who overcame human fatality with new life in the Spirit. Light bursts forth. Bells are rung. The Glory to God returns to our daily pace. Alleluias are sung!
The chill and the snow does not survive. The barren trees do not remain bare. Vacancies are filled. Once again we are alive as we knew we would be. The long hard winter of the soul has given way to a new bounce in our step. We see that our faith has not deceived us but we have lived to see creation burst forth in all its splendor. The harsh realities of life – persecution and death – are not the final answer. We see that there are reasons to hope for a better day.
Bolstered by this recognition of what is happening all around us, like the first Apostles, we are eager to spread the word and make sure that everyone else can recognize the signs and wonders in our midst. Life is not absurd. It all makes sense. We are a witness to the power and the glory of the Lord!