Focus on Hope
Recently I picked up my brand new eyewear. I love the frames, but it sure is an adjustment to the new lenses. I struggle to focus and see rightly. It seems I have the same issue with the readings from this past Sunday.
The first three readings all speak of hope. Jeremiah reminds us that God specifically blesses those who trust and have hope. The psalm response leaves no doubt: Blessed are they who hope in the Lord. And in 1st Corinthians we hear that our hope is not just for this life but for all eternity in the Christ who is, was and always will be. Imagine my surprise, then, when my eyes jumped to the woes instead of the blessings when I read the gospel. I don’t think that reveals anything about Jesus. I think it says something about where my mind and heart can go the minute I lose focus.
In the midst of pandemic, loss, division and injustice, I can get lost in the fear, sorrow, rage and incivility. Without denying any of the harsh realities I am called to witness to and change, I can also remember that the reign of God IS my/our reality. Hope calls to me: Medical care and science are miracles every day. Death is horrendous; however, it is not the only or final reality because life always beckons. Political and familial strife are all around - and so are millions of loving acts of kindness and voices calling for reconciliation. All of the isms break hearts and destroy lives, and we also live and work with so many who strive daily to change structures and love lavishly.
It's time for me to return to the Sunday readings and engrave in my heart that I am blessed with hope in our God. Woe to me when I forget and lose my focus. Now wish me luck with the new glasses!