A weekly blog by Deacon Dan Wagnitz for the Quad Parish Community
Times of Transformation – 4/24/2020
I have been watching a transformation over the last month. All winter long gold finches have
been coming to our backyard feeders. They are especially attracted to the thistle seed feeder.
They have been a dull gray color, not unlike the gray sky that seems to predominate here through
the winter months. It is a safer coloring during a time of most danger.
But over the last month their coloring has been changing. There are several birds whose coloring
changes with springtime, but in this area the transformation of the gold finch is perhaps the most
dramatic. The males in particular have been growing more and more yellow. It was a
transformation that was hardly noticeable at first but each with passing week had become
unmistakable. This past week as I prayed Morning Prayer in the Liturgy of the Hours a flash of
movement caught my eye. I looked out the window and up into the linden tree that stands in the
backyard. On a branch, with a perfect blue spring sky as a backdrop, a striking yellow male gold
finch basked in the morning sunshine. His transformation complete.
This is so much like the journey that we have been on these past weeks. We began Lent with a
black ash cross on our forehead. It was a somber and sober sign that God was calling us once
again to transformation. Lent is an invitation of transformation from habits of sin, whatever that
looks like in our lives, into habits of holiness. When we respond to God’s invitation into deeper
relationship, we feel that transformation deep within our very being – the core of who we are. If
we allowed God’s presence to grow stronger and fuller then no doubt love stirred and grew as we
stepped into the dawn of Easter Joy.
But our transformation is not complete. Persons of faith know that as long as we live this life we
are in need of constant transformation of heart. It is a necessary and gradual process. We must
remember that the natural and liturgical seasons serve as reminders for us, but God is not
restricted by time and space and is constantly at work in the world and in our hearts.
Transformation takes time – God’s time. It takes patience with God and with ourselves and with
our weaknesses and missteps. It takes hope – hope in God and in his constant concern for us and
for all of his creation. It takes faith – faith that God is God and he wants only what is best for us.
And it takes unconditional love of God who showed us on the cross how he unconditionally
Life, we are reminded again these days, has its seasons of danger. Safer at home and social
distancing, businesses and jobs restricted or even lost, video conferencing becoming the closest
many of us are getting to face to face conversation – all these invite us into ongoing
transformation. When we hope in God, when we place our faith in God and when we give the
depth of our love to God no matter life’s challenges, then we emerge from the tomb of worry and
We are being invited at this time to not just celebrate Easter as a day, or even as a season of 50
days, but to truly live always in Easter – to a deeper transformation so that we may live in the
fulfillment of faith, hope and charity that Jesus came to bring us. This is the day the Lord has
made; let us rejoice and be glad. Alleluia! Alleluia!