Today’s find: Son-burst

The switch to Daylight Savings Time has been a mixed blessing, at best.

Coming as early as it does these days, before the middle of March, the switch means most of us have to be out-and-about before the sunrise (at least in our part of the country) for several weeks running.

It seems unnatural – almost as if we’re coaxing the days to lengthen before their time. What’s the hurry?

The flip side, of course, is that we now get to enjoy daylight past the dinner hour. A couple of days ago, in fact, it extended all the way into Holy Hour…adding a spectacular (and unexpected) feature to the Lenten devotion my parish has begun in 2018.

Just as our prayer service was about to start, I saw this:

Son-burst, during Holy Hour

It is a rare thing to encounter a monstrance bathed in such wondrous light. It doesn’t normally happen in our church – this accident, this happy coincidence of daypart, liturgical season and building design. So I took the opportunity to savor the moment:

  • Son, sacramentally present on the altar, basking in this life-giving glow.
  • Sun, providing a delicious and inviting hint of the glory we seek in this Son, in Jesus.

The blessing deepened for me a few days later, as I reflected on the Gospel scene we hear proclaimed at Mass for the Fifth Sunday of Lent. Jesus tells his disciples, along with the strangers they’d brought to meet him:

“The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified.”

It’s a good reminder as we head into the home stretch of this holy season of renewal. Often at this time of year, our hearts and thoughts turn to the darkest hours of Christ’s life on earth. And they are certainly a worthy subject for reflection.

But we are also called to find the gem hidden in the profound mystery of Christ’s passion and death. To see not only the darkness, but the Son-burst that follows. Jesus tells us,

Amen, amen, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains just a grain of wheat; but if it dies, it produces much fruit.

It may be the most difficult of life’s lessons – to come to understand how the Ending is really more like the Beginning.

And, perhaps, to ask in faith, ‘What fruits do You desire to bring forth in me, Lord? How can the dyings in my life be used to glorify Your name?’

Let us pause now…to recall that we are in the presence of the Holy & Merciful One.


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