I haven’t written in quite some time but thought that since today begins Autumn, a season everyone seems to love, I would respond with a reflection. As I write, I’m looking out of my window in the kitchen seeing hints of gold on the trees moving with gusts of wind. This is the perfect autumn day: heavy clouds and brisk, cool winds.
Autumn is a season of colors: the golden leaves with bursts of red and pink; the rays of the sun piercing the sky with deep red and purple shafts of light; the beautiful shades of the mum plants; the bright orange pumpkins poignantly sitting on stoops, porches and in windows. Some of these various sized pumpkins even have faces that follow you in gaze... hinting that Halloween is slowly approaching, waiting to cast shadows on our imaginations.
The most beautiful colors of Autumn emerge in the faces of each and every human being, which, of course, means you. Every person has a unique and unrepeatable color, like a fingerprint, that is meant to express God’s beautiful Creation. Jesus sends out the disciples, us, into the world to let our colors shine and to bring out the colors of those we meet.
Jesus tells us to travel in our daily lives “lightly” with few possessions. I take issue with Jesus on one of the items: the “tunic.” We are only to take one tunic. Well, I’m fairly certain He didn’t experience any polar vortex, nor any snow or ice events. So, take an extra tunic or two. Our seasons demand it.
But we can still lighten the load by letting go of the INNER baggage of harsh words, judgement, self righteousness, fear and cynicism. These inner, heavy loads prevent our beautiful colors to emerge, those colors of gratitude, wonder, self acceptance, joy at another’s success, patience, making other people smile, forgiving, and apologizing.
Jesus sends us into the world today, now, to be human, colorful instruments, rooted in our love of Christ and Mary, building the Kingdom where everyone has a place to let their true God given colors to shine.
P.S. You are welcome to the noon mass on October 17th, the feast of St. Teresa of Avila.