What Kind of Bird are You?

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This winter I made a bird feeding station. First thing in the morning I put out the seed and whistle to the birds to come and eat. Some come in quickly, waiting on the porch rail for me to move aside. Others have been slower to learn that the goodies are there. Our recent snowfall dumped several inches of the white stuff on top of our bird feeder. It was fascinating to see the way the different birds reacted. It reminds me of our own church goers. God has offered us the nourishing Word of God and Christ has called us to the feeder. But just as the bird seed lies hidden under the snow, sometimes it isn’t so easy to find the goodness of God beneath our sorrows and worldly concerns.

Like some young people who are on vacation from the church while they mature, some of the birds have gone for the winter. The Juncos, our regular parishioners, peck down through the snow, searching for food, knowing it is present even if currently unseen. One of the Juncos has an attitude problem – he wants to judge who is worthy of sharing his seed. The Titmouse flutters in and grabs a single seed, then hurries away, missing the possibility of
further nourishment. The bold Chickadees aren’t content to just look where the regular food is hidden (the Mass,) but check out other possibilities and hence find the suet hanging nearby. They also explore the hanging feeder where they toss aside seeds as they check out the possibilities. Those seeds fall on top of the snow underneath, providing opportunities to the less adventuresome birds. They call to mind our dedicated church workers who reach out to find other resources, and share them with the rest of us. My fair weather friends, the Jays, don’t believe the seed is there if they can’t see it. They wait for me to brush away the snow and expose the seed. How like our human friends who don’t have faith that God is with us even in bad times!

Each of us has a different way of responding to the cares of everyday living. Each of us gleans something different from the sustenance offered at Mass. Each of us has the opportunity to spread the seeds of God’s love to others. It is certain, however, that if we don’t have faith that God is with us even in difficult times, we will lose out. If we don’t come to Mass, if we don’t pay attention, if we don’t participate fully, we will be missing the life giving support God offers us.

Christ called the apostles to come and follow him. He has also called each of us to follow and receive the nourishment our loving Father offers. You are here at the feeder; what kind of bird are you?

Linda Crowley