Certainly a big round golden pumpkin, generous like the earth itself in her autumn abundance, can be a worthy image of God’s generous, abundant love. (Nobody puts a grape on his doorstep at Halloween!).
Each year in the Peanuts comic strip, Linus sits in his pumpkin patch awaiting the coming of the Great Pumpkin. Aren’t we, too, like Linus, awaiting—sometimes bewildered but hopeful—of the coming of our Great One? Later, in December, we will focus on His coming in the image a baby, so why not the “Great Pumpkin” at harvest time?
And isn’t a Halloween’s jack o’lantern a perfect image of the Christian life? St. Paul says that Jesus “did not consider being God something to be clung to. He emptied himself . . . and therefore God has exalted him.” (Philippians 2) Aren’t we, like Jesus and the saints whose feast we celebrate, called to be emptied out and filled with light . . . just like the jack o’lantern?
That emptying can be scary, but as we carve our jack o’lantern with our friends on a dark autumn evening, with the cold of winter coming on, we remember that there is always a smile on the face of the “Great Pumpkin.”