NB. The first paragraphs of two other homilies on hope. . .
If God leaves us, who are we then? Let’s say: God is dead. What now? Anything goes: might makes right; money rules; power corrupts; the weak suffer at hands of the strong; the poor will still be blessed but they will be hungry first…wait a second! All of these are true now! And we don’t believe that God is dead. Do we believe that He has left us? Let’s say: God has left us alone. What now? We can wait—for His return; for the return of His Christ; for some sort of End to All This; we can just Wait and let waiting be who we are and what we do until…when? It’s over? We can grieve—that He has left us; that He might have died but we’re not sure; over our now fading memories or the fading memories of those who knew someone who knew someone who knew Him once upon a time. We can weep and mourn. Or we can hope. Or we can weep, mourn, and hope. But hope alone is best. . .
What’s wrong with seeking and finding our strength in flesh? What could be more real, more immediate, more readily available than the helping hand or the generous heart? Seeking and finding our strength in the flesh—in our own hearts and minds and bodies, in our own humanity and communities—this seems more than just the obvious answer; it seems like the only answer to our weaknesses! We turn to one another in service, in generosity, trusting in compassion and endurance. And we often find in our most desperate moment of need, at that instant of near panic in the face of overwhelming hardship—what? Neglect, abuse, cruelty, cold criminal hearts, disdain for others’ needs, blaming those in need, a rationalization for inaction, and weak, weak flesh. Of course, we also find heroic generosity, self-sacrifice, zealous service, and compassion. And here we find the Lord and His hope.