Today’s Thoughts: “The voice of one crying out in the wilderness: Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.’” Words of hope offered to those gathered as Church over two thousand years ago and those gathered as Church today. They are Isaiah’s words, John the Baptist’s words, Matthew’s words, St. Paul’s words and our words of hope.
Hope can often seem like an endless wait or a fleeting moment, just ask any Pirate fan or small market baseball fan or football or basketball or hockey fan whose team hasn’t won in many years. Fans who religiously try to capture the spirit of hope every spring, summer, winter or fall only to give in to the utterance, “wait until next year” when the end of the season arrives. In our own time of uncertainly, we often try to hold on to the hope that things will change, that things will get better, that anger, hate, disrespect, violence will be a thing of the past. That Congress will work together for the good of the country and all people. That our president will should leadership. Instead, hope often seems to be that elusive thing with feathers to borrow a phrase from Emily Dickinson. She wrote a poem about hope –
“Hope” is the thing with feathers –
That perches in the soul –
And sings the tune without the words –
And never stops - at all
(The first stanza from the poem “Hope” is the thing with feathers - By Emily Dickinson)
Isaiah, St. Paul and John the Baptist know all about the elusiveness of that “thing with feathers” called hope however that did not stop them from proclaiming it and challenging people to embrace it.
Isaiah reminded the Israelites about God’s peaceable kingdom filled with compassion and forgiveness. He proclaimed the hopefulness of a loving God who in the end will make all things right. Isaiah sang the song of hope and never stopped – at all.
St. Paul reminds us that our story of faith, the Scriptures are enduring and encouraging but also challenging because they call us to peace, respect and harmony. Again, like Isaiah, St. Paul’s message is one of hope. St. Paul sings the song of hope that can never stopped.
John the Baptist challenged those who followed him into the desert to look for hope in their lives by trusting in the compassion and forgiveness of God. John’s challenge was one of urgency, of being ready, of living a good life that would produce good fruit.
As we continue our journey through Advent we have the simple hope that Christmas will come but we are also challenged like many before us to hang on to the elusive hope of Isaiah, St. Paul, and John the Baptist in a world that often tries to take it from us. Today Isaiah, St. Paul and John remind us to look for and hold on to that thing with feathers within us the sings a tune and never stops at all!
Have a blessed, holy and hope filled Sunday everyone!
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Fr. Paul R. Fagan, C.P. "Preacher on the Run"
Just a few thoughts to help you on your journey through life...let me know from time to time what you think...