Every Tuesday morning at 11 a.m., I have the great privilege of convening “chapel” with our St. Jim’s preschoolers. We’re always thrilled to see one another, and I love hearing their stories about birthdays, dinosaurs, and siblings. This week, we talked about Springtime. I showed them an icon of Mary Magdalene, pictured holding an egg. “Mary,” I told them, “was a good friend of Jesus’, and she was there when he died.”
One little girl affirmed, “Jesus fell asleep, and then he woke up!”
“Like the bear that wakes up in the Spring,” another commented.
“Yes,” I said, “And when Mary went to the place where Jesus had fallen asleep, and his friends were sad, the story goes that she brought some eggs for them. And when Jesus woke up, do you know what happened to those eggs?”
They looked at me, wide-eyed. “They hatched!” one guess erupted.
“Perhaps, eventually,” I agreed. “Actually, the story goes that the eggs turned red!”
“Mary is wearing a red cape,” one of them observed.
Together, we looked inside a small basket I had brought to the chapel, and inside we found, “An egg!” The light in their faces, for me, shines like the light of Spring. And inside the egg, what was hiding? We looked, silently, breathing . . .
One little boy remembered the time we saw a real ladybug crawling around in the Chapel. They reverently passed along the plastic replica, from one tiny hand to another. We often talk about shining the light in our hearts onto our friends.
“Mother Joyce, you know what?!” came the familiar preface, “When it gets warm I go swimming in my friend’s pool.”
It may have been still raining outside, but inside our little chapel, the sun was shining, and we felt warm and loved. May Spring arrive for each of you, for all of us, with this much hope and wonder and optimism.
Yours on this journey around the Sun,