Saturday, December 15, 2012

What to hope for

Saturday 12.15.20, Mt 17:9a, 10-13

John and Martha had been high school sweethearts. After graduation, John had gone off to college…and then the war. Martha became a teacher. They had tried to stay in touch…but there was so much that had gone on. Martha eventually married, and she and her husband had three kids…but then there was an accident…and she was left to raise the kids by herself. John never married…the war had really been tough…but he was absorbed in his work, and was quite successful. It just so happened that they had a mutual friend who put them back in touch, and had actually set up a rendezvous. It had been a long time…a lot of water under the bridge, so to speak. Martha arrived early, and sat at a table where she anxiously watched the door. He arrived shortly after, walked by her, and sat at another table, anxiously watching the door. After a while, they both got up to leave, and as he held the door for her, she thanked him…and he recognized her voice. “Martha??”…”John??”…

After all that time, they didn’t recognize one another…they just didn’t know what to hope for.

The chosen people were waiting…and hoping… for Elijah to return, and for the Son of Man to follow…but they wouldn’t recognize either…they just didn’t know what they were hoping for.

How do we know what to hope for? In a secular world that seems so filled with disappointment, so filled with senseless disrespect for life, for people, and for relationships, it can be a really tough question…

But as Christians, we have a blessed advantage. Hope for us is a theological virtue…a gift from God our Father…that gives us assurance…assurance…of salvation; it allows us to place our faith (ANOTHER gift ) in God, and helps us to do the charitable things that please Him.

The focus of our hope is Jesus; that he died for us…to wash away our sins; that he rose from the dead…so we can do the same.

During Advent, we are anxiously waiting…watching…expecting…and praying…that we recognize him when he comes…that we welcome him into our lives…not just at Christmas, but each and every day of our lives.  --W.W.