I watched the blinking fireflies dance last night from my farmhouse window in southern Virginia. They whisper, and if you listen with your heart, you can hear them quietly say, “Resurrection.” In their unique way, they join with us in celebrating the Paschal mystery.
Fireflies spend much of their lifecycle underground. Near the end of their lives, they develop into the bug that we all know and love, lighting up the early summer skies with quiet beauty. Being a type of beetle, they go through the stages of egg, larva, pupa, and adult. It is not until this final stage that they reach their glorious, glowing life.
Like the early stages of a firefly’s life, we live attached to this earth and worldly things. We (hopefully!) go through various stages of spiritual growth, learning to detach ourselves from the world and to the coming Kingdom. We will all die. Nobody gets out of this life alive. But our burial in the earth will end in resurrection and glorification. In the words of St. Paul, “We shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed” (1 Cor. 15:51-52).
The firefly’s secret is the Paschal mystery, the resurrection and life that we have in our Lord Jesus Christ. This joyous and glorious life is discovered on the path of repentance and humility. Those virtues enable us to commune with our Lord Jesus, and they deepen the sacramental life. By meeting God in the virtues, prayer, and the sacraments, He begins to transfigure our humanity so that we become like the Godman – divinely human.