The small squares, each with a different color, were laid out on a table. Each person was asked to select a color which said something about themselves. Some selected the color green representing the for hope they have for our neighborhood, or the life they find among the youth of our parish. Others selected the color red for the anger they experience because of the injustice they see, or for the compassion they feel one of the sick in our parish. One picked up purple, another, blue and yellow… and so on, until all 25 members of the Parish Council has placed their colors in an arch on the wall. What unfolded was a rainbow of color! As the Council met for an entire day, the rainbow stayed in the background.
We are reminded of the rainbow in today’s reading, when Noah finally sees the sign of a rainbow as a reminder of God’s covenant with us. The covenant is that God will never again destroy with the flood waters the life that is created. In other words, the rainbow is a sign of God’s commitment to us – to be with us always as our Creator. The rainbow created by the Parish Council at our retreat is a reminder that we are all part of the covenant – we each are a different color, but together, we create the beauty of the rainbow, a covenant – and we remind each other God is with us in our commitment to respect creation.
The temptation is, of course, to believe we do not make a difference, or that we can create change for justice by ourselves, or that certain people are not needed in this world… when in fact, we need one another to make a difference. There is a place for every person in the neighborhood, even those we think are not loved by God. The work of the Council, and of everyone, in these days of Lent, is to reflect on how we make a difference and why we must respond with a sense of justice towards others.
Fr. Bruce Wellems, CMF