I’m visiting a friend in Lombard , a western suburb of Chicago, who lives one block from Lilacia Park, arrayed with thousands of lilacs. Yes, Lombard is the land of the lilacs, the official flower of this part of the world. They even have a parade in honor of this beautiful, but delicate, flower.
Jesus used the beautiful image of the lilies of the field to illustrate a powerful truth: not even the magnificence and glory of King Solomon can possibly compare with the beauty of this simply flower. At the heart of this image of the lilies is another beautiful truth: the lilies do nothing to achieve their beauty…they simply ARE beautiful because that’s how God made them. And so are WE: our beauty is a beauty that runs deep within, to the center of of our beings. Skin-deep beauty is fleeting, like lilies and lilacs, which last barely through Spring.
Our bodies look less and less beautiful on the outside as we age, another simple, sobering truth. But our inner beauty never fades, it becomes more vibrant and distinctive. And yet our physical bodies, not just our souls, are an eternal part of our identity and personhood. When souls and bodies come together in the Resurrection of the Dead, we will be able to once again embrace and laugh and dance in a field of lilacs and lilies that never fade our die…What a glorious destiny we have. No need to worry about anything.
A soul without a transformed body is an angel, of sorts, not a human being. We can’t dance or embrace without our bodies. Another glorious truth.
Peace. Fr. Frank