• Naomi Mannino

SATURDAY OF THE HOLY WEEK (HOLY SATURDAY) APRIL 11, 2020


MASS READINGS:


Responsorial Psalm : PS 104:1-2, 5-6, 10, 12, 13-14, 24, 35

R. (30) Lord, send out your Spirit, and renew the face of the earth. Bless the LORD, O my soul! O LORD, my God, you are great indeed! You are clothed with majesty and glory, robed in light as with a cloak. R. Lord, send out your Spirit, and renew the face of the earth. You fixed the earth upon its foundation, not to be moved forever; with the ocean, as with a garment, you covered it; above the mountains the waters stood. R. Lord, send out your Spirit, and renew the face of the earth. You send forth springs into the watercourses that wind among the mountains. Beside them the birds of heaven dwell; from among the branches they send forth their song. R. Lord, send out your Spirit, and renew the face of the earth. You water the mountains from your palace; the earth is replete with the fruit of your works. You raise grass for the cattle, and vegetation for man's use, Producing bread from the earth. R. Lord, send out your Spirit, and renew the face of the earth. How manifold are your works, O LORD! In wisdom you have wrought them all— the earth is full of your creatures. Bless the LORD, O my soul! R. Lord, send out your Spirit, and renew the face of the earth.

Reflection by Naomi Mannino

R. Lord, send out your Spirit, and renew the face of the earth. You send forth springs into the watercourses that wind among the mountains. Beside them the birds of heaven dwell; from among the branches they send forth their song.


REFLECTION: Lord, send out your Spirit, and renew the face of the earth. You send forth springs into the watercourses that wind among the mountains. Beside them the birds of heaven dwell; from among the branches they send forth their song.

There are many symbols that represent faith in the Catholic church, such as a dove, fire, or fish. The red cardinal bird is a lesser-known symbol that represents the fire and life of the Holy Spirit. Some people choose to believe when they see a cardinal, their deceased love one is sending them a message or answering a prayer. This beautiful bird represents hope.


In our slow-paced pandemic life, I had time to sit on my patio in the backyard to enjoy nature. It wasn’t long before I heard this beautiful song bird giving God glory. I noticed him at the top of a nearby tree and recognized him to be a red cardinal. I have heard cardinal birds were named from the color of the Catholic Cardinal’s red robes. But more poignantly, I remembered my sister’s true tale of how a red cardinal appeared in a bedroom window after my father’s death. My mother and sister had opened the bedroom curtain to look at a rosebush in full bloom outside the window. They were spell bound at this seemingly miraculous display of roses, because as long as they can remember, the rosebush had never bloomed before. They were deeply touched by this sign of new life just feet from where my father passed. That is when a cardinal appeared in the window and stared at my mom and sister for a long time, maybe ten minutes. What a gift of hope! And by the way, to this day, that same rosebush has not bloomed since.


Regardless of our beliefs in what God is telling us through nature, we can give thanks to God in all His goodness revealed in His works. During this physical separation from our Lord and our families on the holiest feast of the year, may we appreciate our faith in the Eucharist, the love of God, and the beautiful creation God places before us. You never know how God will use these gifts to bring us closer to Himself. Maybe God will send you a sign such as a rosebush to bloom or a cardinal to stare through your window during this pandemic and give you hope.


The grief we experience from personal loss of a loved one is a way God teaches us about life. The grief we experience of the physical separation from our Lord’s body and blood in the Eucharist teaches us the spiritual communion our Lord desires. This Communion of the souls bring us to eternal life. On this Holy Saturday as we sit in isolation due to the pandemic, may our spiritual communion with the Lord renew us. May He give us peace in our hearts and wonder-filled signs in His creation to “renew the face of the earth”.

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