Messengers Of Hope
Thoughts on the First Readings -Joe Frankenfield
27th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Habakkuk 1:2-3 to 2:2-4
If God’s revelation were made into a thirty second tape, that would be its first line. It would fit right next to I know it’s hard. I’ll never quit on you. Together we’ll make this work better than you dream. In countless ways our Creator has said don’t give up on me and don’t give up on yourselves.
When God first created us with imagination, when he gave us the longing for peace between people, for lasting friendship, for love freely given, for plenty for everyone, for children bubbling with life; God knew we would pay a price. God knew we would ultimately arrive at our dream but would also suffer along the way.
Scripture is full of stories about characters who struggled but endured. History books, dramas and novels, our family photo albums and our memories tell tales of those who kept trying and found meaning in their efforts. They left us a better world for their labors. In Christian language these people were true to God’s Spirit; in ordinary language, they hoped in life.
Do folks have to keep trying to live, grow and make life better. No, obviously! We can climb to the hundredth floor and step off. Or, more commonly, we can despair of the larger world’s future and work only for ourselves and our own.
Our Creator knows this struggle. God lives within it and joins it on the side of humanity. That’s the meaning of Jesus. But the Creator can’t strip away the tension between hope and despair in our lives without stripping away the core of our humanity as well.
As God’s incarnation we’re asked to be the embrace of hope for all who struggle, especially for those who feel life’s promise slipping away. We share the rest of the world’s disappointments and we share its dreams. What we have to offer is a promise, God’s promise. We embody it in our loving care.