The common lilac, for Mary today; representing the quality of Fidelity.
The little petals, each one so small and unremarkable, grow in just the right place, “faithful” to the cluster that makes up the whole flower. “The little petals group together in fidelity for a greater good.” They put out a lot of color and a lot of beautiful, rich fragrance.
The lilac trees flourish in the northern climates with its harsh winters. During winter the lilac can “rest” — it goes into a retreat and lies dormant for a while until called on to blossom forth in the Spring. You can make analogies here: stay faithful to your duties, work hard, shine forth, then draw back to gather your strength for a while. . . .
But, be careful. “Fidelity” is not all about you (or m)! Fidelity is reliable faithfulness to something. And it’s a quality that we know we would recognize in Mary, the Mother of Jesus.
We hear of “The Hidden Years of Jesus,” and some imaginations go wild with “possibilities.” But during these more than twenty years of unrecorded history, Mary too was “hidden” from public view.
Petal by individual petal, each of these three, mother, father, and Son, were doing the unremarkable duties of daily life, pleasing only their Heavenly Father, day by day, who alone knew the patterns of the clusters they were building.
It’s Fidelity to God. Wherever He put us. Not caring about the End result.
“Well done, thou good and faithful servant.”