When I grew up in Southern Germany, from my parents house we could see a forest filled with broad-leaved trees on a hill. My father claimed that on the 1st May the leaves of all the trees would have sprouted and therefore the complete forest would be green. Most years that was not in doubt and the trees changed colour from brown and grey to a vibrant green. But when spring was late and April cold and wet, this seemed doubtful. But amazingly when May arrived the forest was always covered in beautiful green. Sometimes we were convinced that this could not happen that year as with only a few days to go many trees were still in their winter colours. But the green always appeared in time without fail.

So this year it's most appropriate that May, when Spring reaches its climax, is during the Easter season. Because Easter is not just on Easter Sunday but lasts for 50 days till Pentecost (from the Greek meaning 50th day). Just as Spring brings new life to everything around us, the Easter season promises us new spiritual life as we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus after his suffering and death on the cross. So Easter with its hope of new beginnings reminds us that Jesus is always there for us. We can turn to him at any time and he is ready to help us wherever we are.

Deacon Klaus Reidel,
St Bede's Catholic Church

Easter HOPE card clip of new shoot