I was really caught by one sentence in Sunday’s Second Reading from First Peter: “Always be ready to give an explanation to anyone who asks you for a reason for your hope.”
Of course, that assumes one has hope in the first place. Given the afflictions affecting our world, our country, and our church, there are days it seems there are more reasons for disillusionment and despair (is that too strong a word?) than for hope. All the things that are wrong are present to us 24/7, thanks to the ever-present media. There’s also the ever-present reality of your own daily stresses and strains.
So what are my reasons for hope? Very simple: Folks like you.
My cynicism can flourish when I look “up” to the rich and powerful, the politicians, the actors and actresses, ecclesiastical leaders, sports figures, etc. They just ain’t what they used to be!
However when I look out into my everyday world, it’s an altogether different story. People are still getting married, starting and raising families, caring for elderly parents. Folks rally to the aid of the victims of the April tornadoes and the present Mississippi flooding. Family-run businesses do all they can to save the jobs of their employees. Parish priests and lay ministers work tirelessly to bring the healing touch and words of Jesus into the lives of those they serve.
And this being Memorial Day weekend, I cannot forget the men and women in our Armed Forces who willingly go into harm’s way so that others may have life and freedom. SO many of them are just kids – 18, 19, 20 years old….the same age as those who stormed the Normandy coast and the Pacific beaches, who braved the Korean winters, the Vietnamese morass, the heat and sand flies of the two Gulf Wars, the IED’s of Iraq and Afghanistan. Equally heroic are the signs of hope that are the families of these men and women…the sacrifices they make, the day-by-day dread of THE phone call, the unfulfilled yearning for the touch and voice of someone they deeply love, trying to make ends meet on a military paycheck.
I find my source of hope in the same people Jesus did: the lowly, humble, responsible, self-sacrificing people of the land. God bless you all!! You have a huge place in my heart!
Much love…many prayers!
Fr. Herb, C.S.C.