Grace to you!
Roses are one of the most beautiful flowers, God’s special gift of nature. From the white rose to the pink, yellow, sterling silver and deep red, all roses are nature’s wonders.
Even if you have little appreciation for aesthetics, you can’t gaze too long at a garland of roses without been drawn to its beauty. Occasionally, I drive by neighborhoods where roses flourish, and I could hardly take my eyes off the walkways. Roses are strikingly beautiful.
Have you ever received a gift of roses from someone? What did you think about the gift? Your feelings? Your emotions? Didn’t you feel honored, appreciated and loved?
Sometimes I contemplate: How would God feel if God received roses from me? I know God does not feel like we humans do, but surely, God who gave us the gift of sensation and feeling, surely knows what feeling means; otherwise God wouldn’t gift us this nature. As Sacred Scripture says, “Does He who made the ears not hear? Does He who fashioned the eye not see?” (Psalm 94:9) God surely does.
I believe God relates to us as our nature is; and God graciously accepts our reciprocity of His love as our nature is as well. God would not expect us to relate with Him as angels, those spiritual beings; nor would God expect us to relate with Him as birds who have limited ways of expressing their “feelings” or instincts. God expects us our reciprocity to be truly human.
It’s human to have feelings. God receives our feelings and God pierces into the deepest of our feelings and welcomes them too. A glorious mutuality of love and affection!
What roses do we bring to the Lord? What colorful petals do we offer God? Everything—our life, our sacrifices, our brokenness, our sins and our joys?
Let me also tell about one of the most wonderful roses offered back to God. That rose is the Virgin Mary—the woman in whom God is much delighted and who the Lord called “Most Blessed.” She was a spotless vase of roses offered to the Lord. The vase that bore in her womb the aesthetics of God’s revelation, the fullness of God’s Glory revealed—Christ the Lord.
Mother Mary’s life was adorned with roses; capturing in the most beautiful way, all of the human praises and worries. Like the praises of the Book of Psalms, the story of our salvation is rendered in beads of her roses. The Holy Rosary—which literally means; holy garden of roses, bed of roses, garland of roses, garland beads (by extension); and tells that story which found fulfillment in the womb of the Blessed Virgin Mary. “Behold the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, you shall call him Jesus” (Is 7:14; Mt 1:23).
The Blessed Virgin Mary is God’s Special Rose of Incarnation. The rosary tells the story of our salvation, on beads, rings of rosy beads, designed as images and metaphors, tangible things expressing the intangible.
I love to offer God back those roses. First to offer God the merits of the special Rose of the Incarnation—the Blessed Virgin Mary. Offer back to God the roses of His goodness and love for us narrated throughout the beads of the rosary. Offer back to God the unique experience of my feelings and connections with the mysteries of our Christian faith as I tell that story, touching the beads.
Ultimately, I pray God to feel me as I feel the beads; to touch me as I touch the beads of the rosary; to cuddle me as I wrap the beads of the rosary around my palms. I want God to see in me, one of the redeemed, God’s precious child, following the footsteps of the woman most blessed, Virgin Mary, who also followed the Son, Jesus Christ.
May Our Lady of the Rosary pray for us. Amen.
God love you. God bless you.
Fr. Maurice Emelu
Fr. Maurice Emelu, Ph.D.
Father Maurice provides a daily blog of reflections based on the bible readings of the day from the Catholic liturgical calendar. You will find these reflections helpful for your spiritual growth, inspiration and developing your own thoughts. It may also be helpful for ministers in preparing their sermons for liturgical celebrations.