Marriage & Family Life: Begin again on the road to follow Jesus
by Adam Storey | April 22, 2021
For the past few years, my family has had backyard chickens.
We’ve established a pattern of adding a few new birds to the flock every couple of years, and we always go out and buy the chicks on Easter Monday. For the first few weeks we keep the chicks in our basement, and I have to say it’s fun to hear their chirps throughout the house and to see my kids name them and watch them with delight.
Even I can admit the chicks are ridiculously cute. There are many days when I might get frustrated with our chickens, like when I have to clean the coop, or chase down an escaped chicken, or try to learn veterinary skills with sick birds.
But on Easter Monday, watching these little birds and the joy they bring my kids, they become for me a sign of hope, and new life, and the wonder of creation.
This Easter Monday, as my family and I drove to Bomgaars to once more begin the journey of raising new little chicks, my wife and I were discussing Pope Francis’ Easter Vigil homily. In it, he invites us to “begin again” on the road of discipleship, just like the disciples had to go back to the “beginning,” to meet the risen Christ in Galilee (Mark 16:7).
This past year has been hard. There has been the fear of uncertainty, the loss of loved ones, loneliness and division. And yet, the Easter season reminds us that death does not have the last word. There is always the hope of new life, or in our case, new chicks! As Pope Francis pointed out in his homily, it is by following Jesus that we “learn to be amazed by the Lord’s infinite love, which opens new trails along the path of our defeats.”
While I need to be reminded of this reality often, my kids are a powerful witness to this truth on a daily basis. Their Easter explosion of joy - admittedly aided by candy, new books and eight baby chicks - is a sign of their freedom and openness to God’s grace; it is the childlike disposition that Jesus says is necessary to receive his Kingdom (Luke 18:17).
We remain in the Easter season until May 23, and during this time I recommend that all of us take the time to read Pope Francis’ Easter Vigil homily, for it is quite powerful.
I also pray that during this season we may all more deeply experience the Easter promise. Pope Francis said that “the Lord goes ahead of you, he always walks before you. And, with him, life always begins anew.”