Sunday, February 26, 2012

Rainbow Sign

Rainbow over our Monastery
1st Sunday of Lent Year B
Gen. 9:8-15
Mk. 1:12-15

Our Holy Mother St. Clare legislated in her Rule that the Sisters should keep silence continually, but that they may always say what is necessary in a low tone of voice.  This point in our Rule is very faithfully kept whenever a rainbow appears on Mt. St. Francis, the site of our monastery.  Well, perhaps the part about the low tone of voice is a bit neglected…but anyway, every Sister considers this event a time when it is necessary to speak.  For everyone must see the phenomenon, everyone must share the glorious experience of witnessing the sign of God’s covenant with creation.  So the word goes around the cloister and soon each Sister has stationed herself in what she considers to be the best window or the best spot in the courtyard or gardens.  Usually a rainbow appears in the afternoon after a storm, when the setting sun is able to send a last, slanting ray beneath the hem of cloud cover to shine on the mist of evaporating rain in the eastern sky.  We point, we exclaim and we gaze at the wonder until the last color fades and then we return to our prayer or work renewed in the beauty of God’s ways.

The rainbow is the sign of the covenant, formed when the light shines in the darkness through the countless prisms of airborne water droplets. In today’s gospel, Jesus, the Light of the World, shines in the darkness of Satan’s temptations.  He is the sign of the new covenant, the many colored bow bent by the Father’s hand to send an arrow of love and praise from earth even to the heights of heaven.  And in the storms of life, may we too, lift our tears of sorrow upon the breath of the Holy Spirit so that we may see the rainbow formed by Christ’s light shining in our darkness.

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