Message for the Easter season: I love this time of the year. I say that because when I go by the flower beds, I see evidence of the new life of spring. Daffodils and crocus are forcing their way up through all the fallen leaves and even the mulch which may be on top of them. They are wonderfully resilient. They have a will to live and to show me and everyone how beautiful their flowers are. We have had some very cold days and nights this past winter. But nature continues; God’s creation is amazing. But you do have to make the effort to go out and see it (or smell it if you have no vision.) The seasons continue despite covid and global warming, even though the latter brings additional challenges. But you can see God in creation if you wish to do so. One answer is that you can know God, see Jesus, in creation, as I have already indicated. But you can also see Jesus in the lives of others. You can see Jesus in the life of Marianne Cope, a nun, who is only the second American woman to be beatified by the Vatican. She founded St. Joseph’s Hospital in Syracuse, New York, which was one of the first 50 general hospitals in the United States. Marianne and her nuns purchased a saloon and dance hall and converted it into a hospital. After Marianne established several hospitals and schools in Central New York, obviously much appreciated, she took several of her nuns to Hawai’i, at the invitation of the king, who required someone to care for the lepers’ colony on the island. She said: “I am hungry for the work and I wish with all my heart to be one of the chosen Ones, whose privilege it will be, to sacrifice themselves for the salvation of the souls of the poor Islanders… I am not afraid of any disease hence it would be my greatest delight even to minister to the abandoned ‘lepers.’ When Marianne arrived in November of 1883, she was sent to the hospital in O’hau, and put in charge of triage—the more severe cases were to be sent to Fr. Damien on Molokai, and everyone else was to stay put on O’hau. Having set that up successfully, Marianne went off to set up another general hospital on Maui. Soon, however, she had to come back to O’hau when she received word that the governmental administrator there was abusing patients. She informed the king that either the administrator was fired or she, and all of her hospital-building and-running nuns, would head back to Syracuse. The administrator was fired, and Marianne was awarded the running of the hospital. One of the aspects of care that Sr. Marianne emphasized in her schools and in her hospitals was joy. She insisted that patients have access to gardens, music, games, and brightly colored garments while in the hospitals, believing that happiness and laughter aided recovery just as much as cleanliness and medicine. Joy, to her mind, was an integral part of God’s will for us, and to neglect it was to neglect part of what it means to be human. She saw Jesus and through her ministry many others saw Jesus and received the healing love of God. If you turn to psalm 51, you will be saying to God “Create in me a clean heart O God and renew a right spirit within me.” We are now in the season of Easter, a time to celebrate new life and resurrection. Have your prayers included prayers for creation, for God's beautiful world? But our world is challenged, many, many places are in the throes of warfare, Ukraine being one of them Our hearts and prayers are for all people living in such situations. Today continue to seek Jesus and yearn to see him. I encourage you to see Jesus him in the wonders of creation and in the lives of others. Thank him for his life his willingness to die for you and to be raised in glory forever. Amen God bless you Margaret+.