Finding God in nature, Miriam-Rose explains
As we bid farewell to the High Liturgical Season of Easter to Corpus Christi, I would like to summarise this time with a beautiful image that came to me recently by listening to the celebrated Catholic Australian Miriam-Rose Ungunmerr-Baumann. You may recall that Miriam-Rose was the Senior Australian of the year 2021. She was recently in Rome for the Aboriginal week and briefly encountered Pope Francis before he entered the hospital.
In an interview on Vatican radio, she stated that her people “found God in nature.”
Regarding the movement from Easter to Corpus Christi (the Eucharist), she said, “We don’t need a calendar to tell us when it is Easter. We know it is around Easter time when the Blue Water lilies appear.” Recall that Miriam-Rose comes from Daly River, south of Darwin, and these are the indigenous people of the area.
She describes to the children she teaches that Easter is when the beautiful petals and fragrances of the Bluewater Lilies appear on their rivers, lakes and ponds.
She then said that this beautiful flower, which reminds them of the Easter Jesus, eventually fades and the fragrance disappears. Although seemingly dead, it is still very much alive. She then stated that at this time they can open up the seed pods of the water lily and eat the seeds. The seeds are very nourishing and very good to eat. This is where, she said, Easter and the Eucharist meet…it is the same water lily, but it is taking on different forms just like the Easter Jesus, who then takes on the form of the Eucharist.
This is surely a beautiful summary, seeing our deepest theological truths in nature. It comes from a kind of mystic Aboriginal leader of our own people. What a beautiful image!
- This is an extract from Archbishop Prowse’s homily from Sunday Mass St Christopher’s Cathedral 18th June 2023 Eleventh Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A). The complete homily can be viewed via www.cgcatholic.org.au