By Most Rev. Richard W. Smith, Archbishop of Edmonton


This picture shows one of the panels on the holy door at St. Peter's Basilica in Rome. I have always loved it, and it speaks beautifully of the Good Shepherd reaching out to save the lost. That's the reason for hope.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Below Seasonal

Here in Edmonton we are hearing this MUCH too often from our weather forecasters. As we live through the winter that has yet to learn the meaning of the word “END”, we hear time and again that our temperatures are “below seasonal”. No kidding. Enough already.

As Christians, there is another way in which we may be experiencing “below seasonal” conditions in our lives. We are in the Easter season now, celebrating in our liturgies the new life and hope offered to the world in the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. It is, therefore, a season of joy. Indeed, the joy that is ours as a people who live in communion with Christ is not limited to particular dates on the liturgical calendar. It is abiding, because the love of the Risen Lord endures always. Yet, circumstances in life can draw us into a “below seasonal” way of living. Rather than the living from the confident hope that is born of Easter joy, we can at times be overcome by fear, anxiety, despair or hopelessness in the face of difficult situations beyond our power to change. 

But God is not powerless. There is nothing beyond His reach. That is the message implicit in the resurrection of Christ. Trial and hardship is not an indication of God’s abandonment. Rather, He who is always present uses these situations to invite us to deeper faith. Sometimes we need to be reminded of the limits of our abilities in order to return to full trust in God’s unlimited capacity. When we focus too much on ourselves, “below seasonal” living is the result. When we confidently place everything in the hands of God who loves us, and allow Christ both to carry and lead us, we are drawn back by grace to the seasonal life of Easter hope and joy.