The season of Fall, or autumn, is just around the corner. I know that many people lament its arrival because it means that summer is ending. I, however, appreciate the season. Some of the things that I appreciate about autumn are the cooler days and even more cool evenings. I enjoy the arrival of the American football season at all levels. I enjoy the occasional campfire and sitting around it with others. I enjoy that the many ministries of the parish are back in full swing as the activity level of the parish picks up. As the daylight diminishes little by little each day, I love the sunsets and the long shadows that spread across the ground. As a seminarian at St. Meinrad, my daily walks would be around the campus and the streets near St. Meinrad. There were fields of corn awaiting harvest casting their long shadows across the land as the setting sun glowed. It was simply beautiful.
I must confess that the peak of autumn for me is the changing of the colors of the leaves on the many and varied trees. From the lush and beautiful green trees, we begin to see the spread of colors across the canopy of trees — red leaves and orange leaves, yellow leaves and light brown leaves. This canopy of colors has inspired many artists as well as many travelers to go and visit the beautiful deciduous forest of the Midwest and northeast areas of the United States. Here in Indiana, we are fortunate that we can take a quick drive to Eagle Creek Park or an hour’s drive to Brown County State Park to experience the beauty.
The scientist in me recognizes that the beauty and potential of the leaves was always there. The change in the color of the leaves reveals the different colors of pigments that were already there. In the growing season, the green pigments of the chlorophyll shine brightly to allow the leaves to perform photosynthesis, where green plants use the sunlight to make their own food. As the sunlight diminishes, so does the dominance of the green pigment in the leaves. This allows the other pigment colors to emerge and to shine brightly. We all are blessed to see them shine brilliantly every autumn.
In some ways, we are like the leaves. Perhaps you have always done a particular ministry or shared a particular talent. For that, we are grateful. Perhaps, like the leaves, there are other interests or talents that you have that could shine brightly and bless others if allowed to emerge. Have you ever considered that about yourself? Are there some talents and interests that you have but have not shared? Would you consider sharing them? Through His creation, God blesses us with the beauty of the autumn season. Through God’s creation of you, He also blesses us with your beauty. May this season of Autumn fill you with a great appreciation of God’s creation and of the many ways that He blesses you and bestows gifts upon and through you.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Rev. John P. McCaslin