Hope and Faith in our Times

In light of yesterday’s post, in which I spoke about criticism I have received for seeming ‘monotone’ in delivery of my homilies, I thought I would share the text  of a SUCCESSFULL (!!!) and well received reflection I gave yesterday. It includes the text of yesterday’s (04/12/2015) Gospel reading. I pray the Holy Spirit moves you!

‘As Jesus went on his way two blind men followed him shouting, ‘Take pity on us, Son of David.’ And when Jesus reached the house the blind men came up with him and he said to them, ‘Do you believe I can do this?’ They said, ‘Sir, we do.’ Then he touched their eyes saying, ‘Your faith deserves it, so let this be done for you.’ And their sight returned. Then Jesus sternly warned them, ‘Take care that no one learns about this.’ But when they had gone, they talked about him all over the countryside.’

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‘Having just heard today’s Gospel again, I hope everyone remembers today’s first reading! It was a little long for me to read out in this session. I’ll just jog your memories; in case anyone’s forgotten.

It is a hope filled text, one that speaks of the transfiguration of our world from a world of lacking to one filled only with an abundance of goodness. Lebanon shall become fertile again, the blind shall see once more and all who are disposed to do evil will be destroyed.

Imagine were this change to happen in our time. There would be no more deforestation, no more desertification. No more global warming. There would be no more disease. How many people’s lives would be changed by that? There would be no more corrupt political machinations, no more legal swindling and no more exploitation of the poor. There would be no more ISIS or war. In short, the world would be at peace.

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Listen to what your heart is telling you at these words… Does it not yearn for such peace? And all the while, we live in a world where all the things I’ve just mentioned are, unfortunately, stark realities. It can all become too much if it is dwelt upon and one may be left thinking ‘What’s the point of trying to live this life of holiness? The world has turned it’s back on Christianity and I am but one of a minority of people who proclaim Christ on this Earth. I should just give up and enjoy the life the world offers.’ On a lighter note, I hope I am not the only one here who has ever felt like this!

But, brothers and sister, there is hope. If anyone has ever read or seen the LOTR, you may remember Sam’s words to Frodo at the end of the second part. The LOTR is one of the greatest Christian inspired epics ever and today’s readings reminded me of the following words, when Sam says:

‘…we shouldn’t even be here. But we are. It’s like in the great stories…Full of darkness and danger, they were. And sometimes you didn’t want to know the end. How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad had happened? But now I understand. Folk in those stories had lots of chances of turning back, only they didn’t. They kept going. Because they were holding on to something…That there’s some good in this world… And it’s worth fighting for.’

We are holding onto that too. But more than that, we are holding on in faith that our Lord and God will renew the face of the Earth. Brothers and sister, however weak we may feel in the face of life’s adversities, let us pray for faith and renewal. Then Jesus can say to us in turn ‘Your faith deserves this, so let it be done for you.’ He has saved and will save us. Amen.’

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