It is late spring, and the thunder is rolling. Even as a lot of our lives have been put on hold, Mother Nature doesn’t stop for anyone. The seasons are changing and so that means that thunderstorms are running through the U.S.
Just last week one of these big storms came rumbling through my part of town and I couldn’t help but stare up at the sky. I was on a walk with my husband when the sky started to look like this:
It looked like I was underwater and looking up at waves on the surface. It was beautiful and something I had never seen. They almost didn't look real, but the view was short-lived because within 10 minutes of this beautiful scene the downpour started. Once the rain started, it looked like any other rainstorm.
This rare type of cloud is called “undulatus asperatus” and they are formed when an area with rising humid air creates widespread cloud cover and that same area has high winds that cause wind shear. This combination often happens when a storm front is blowing through. If you see this very strange and unique type of clouds, you probably have only minutes before the rain starts to fall.
If you get the chance to see this type of cloud, it means that a storm will be coming soon. It’s kind of like an early warning sign. (If we didn’t also have meteorologists to tell us ahead of time)
Most of us Houstonians probably looked up at the sky and thought it was pretty, but we didn’t think much more about it. We didn’t think about what it meant or what it could be telling us.
All of us looking up at the sky are just like the Jews at the time of Jesus. As it talks about in last Sunday’s gospel, so much of Jesus’ time on Earth had been foretold in the scriptures. They had a warning ahead of time. The prophets of the Old Testament foretold so many things, like:
- Isaiah 7:14 “Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name Immanuel.”
- Jesus was born of the virgin Mary, and “Immanuel” means “God with us”. Jesus is God who was physically with them on Earth.
- Isaiah 53:5 “But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, and by His scourging we are healed.”
- Christ not only died for our sins, but suffered greatly through being scourged and crucified.
- Psalm 16:10 “you will not abandon my soul to the netherworld, nor will you suffer your faithful one to see corruption.”
- Jesus’ body was not left in a tomb. He rose from the dead and ascended into heaven.
The list goes on, but the Jews didn’t see this connection and so they still crucified him. They did not realize that he was the messiah that had been promised to them. He wasn’t exactly what they had in mind.
Nevertheless, they had warning; they had knowledge ahead of time of what was to come. God had a plan and He wanted to share it with them, but they were not listening. They didn’t understand. God has a plan for all of our lives, and He wants to tell us about it too, just like He has with His people since the beginning of time.
How do we avoid repeating the mistakes of the past? We must be open to the plan that God has for our lives and then we must search out what it is. In order to find out God’s plan we must have a relationship with Him, we must know him more intimately. This can be done through prayer and reading the scriptures.
Those at the time of Jesus may have been able to recite the scriptures, but they didn’t understand them. We must start by reading the scriptures, something everyone could use more of. The Catholic faith is blessed with daily readings, but there are many other ways to read and study the Bible. Then, along with our reading, we must pray. You can pray with the readings, asking for clarification or asking how that passage relates to your life.
You can pray for wisdom to know his path for you, pray for courage to follow that path, pray for charity/love for those you encounter on this path.
Today’s (and every day’s) readings can be found at http://www.usccb.org/bible/ Click on the link that says “Today’s Reading”. I encourage you to read them and pray with them.
Then come back next week for the second part of this two-part blog inspired by the beautiful asperatus clouds.