You know how to interpret the appearance of the earth and the sky;
why do you not know how to interpret the present time? Luke 12: 56
There are many kinds of signs in our world: stop signs and other traffic signs, hand signs, dollar signs, peace signs, plus and minus signs, the Passionist sign worn on their habits; signs of the times and the sign of the cross. Signs have meaning for us, can communicate something to us, and can help us. God’s "signs" are all around us, and we just need to be open to see them.
There are certainly signs in God’s handiwork. The seasons can teach us about the different seasons in our own lives. Spring follows winter each year and gives us the hope of new life. Pruning can be beneficial in our spiritual lives as well as in a fruit orchard; children remind us of the wonder of our world and shower us with unconditional love; a beautiful sunset gives us a glimpse of the glory of heaven; and the most stunning view is but a fraction of the magnificence of God.
Since our daughter Julie is now a novice with the Sisters of Life in New York, she wears a habit. Her habit is a sign that she has chosen to give her life in service to the Lord and that she is available to help people and to pray with them. Seeing Sr. Cecilia Rose and other young women like her in habits today gives us hope for the future of our church.
I believe the most controversial and yet relevant sign in the last 2,000 years is Jesus being lifted up on a cross. His death means salvation for those who look on it and believe. The cross is a joke to some, but for those who know it’s true meaning, it is a firm foundation for life and the door to eternal life. The cross speaks volumes to us about love, perseverance, obedience and sacrifice. It gives us hope in adversity, comfort in our struggles, and meaning to our suffering. It helps us keep going when we feel that we can’t keep going. Thank you Lord for the signs of your love, which are all around us.
Janice Carleton and her husband Jim live in Portland, OR and partner with Passionist Fr. Cedric Pisegna in Fr. Cedric Ministries. Janice also leads women’s retreats. She is the mother of 4 grown children and grandmother of 4. Visit Janice’s website at http://www.jcarleton.com/ or email her at [email protected]/org