Will the Birds Come Back?
BIrds had been flocking to our deck to feed -- cardinals, sparrows, finches, blue jays, woodpeckers, hummingbirds, doves -- beautiful with their different colors and sizes. They were all around the feeders pecking at seeds. The deck floor was covered with swarms of the hungry winged creatures. They came at various times in the morning and afternoon.
Bird-watching is a pastime we have enjoyed from the glass doors of our dining room.
Recently, all of a sudden, the birds stopped coming. The feeders hung lonely and bare without birds. The deck floor was forlorn with untouched bird food. There was, however, a couple of mourning doves pecking at the seeds without competition. Even the usual squirrels were absent.
I did not know why the birds just disappeared. We had not stopped feeding them. We had made sure to make regular trips to Petsmart and Home Depot to buy not so inexpensive bags of bird seeds.
Searching the Internet, I found out possible reasons why birds stop coming. One is that the summer season made available more natural food for them elsewhere. Another is that some bird species migrate to other places at this time. Another is that some neighbors start feeding them and draw them away from my yard. Still another is the dwindling population of some bird species.
Whatever the reason was, I will continue having the feeders filled. They can come back anytime and their food will be there.
For centuries, our Spiritual Food had nourished the souls of Catholic believers in our Lord Jesus present in the Holy Eucharist. But civil authorities, citing the pandemic (justified or not), shut churches down and cut off the faithful from access to the Sacraments. The people were deprived of their soul food.
As churches began to gradually reopen, trickles began coming again for Mass and Communion.
In the days of old, as I recall, the doors of my hometown and other churches were always open during the day even outside of liturgical services. One could stop by to visit the Blessed Sacrament and spend a few minutes to say hello to the Lord or talk longer with Him for an hour of adoration. I think that is not the case with most churches anymore for about fifty years.
As secular authorities relax restrictions on churches and eventually remove them, the question one may ask is: "Will people come back, filling churches just like before? Or will they get used to watching Mass on their TV and phone screens where the Body and Blood of the Lord are not dispensed? Or will they not come again at all?"
Whatever the answer is, our Lord will always be there, waiting to satisfy the hunger of human hearts. #
"Look at the birds in the sky; they do not sow or reap, they gather nothing into barns, yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are not you more important than they?" (Mt 6:26)
"Jesus said to them, “Amen, amen, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life within you. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him on the last day. For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me and I in him. Just as the living Father sent me and I have life because of the Father, so also the one who feeds on me will have life because of me." (John 6:53-57)
Photo by Mark Timberlake on Unsplash