Sunday, July 10, 2005

Contemplata aliis Tradere on The Hope within Us

Paul Lew reflects on today's Gospel. He draws connections between our response in God's love to the needs of our brothers and that strength that flows to us through the Eucharist. Christ remains that hope in us as long as we respond to his presence with an open heart. He notes:
If we allow Love to sow and take root in us, we will respond with Faith, Hope and Love in turn. And this does happen in hearts which receive the Eucharist and which meditate on the Scriptures, God's written word. For surely and slowly, like a tiller in the soil, the Spirit softens us, waters us with grace and prepares us to bear fruit for Christ (cf Ps 65); we become saints.
He draws inspiration from John Paul the Great:
"A significant consequence of the eschatological tension inherent in the Eucharist is also the fact that it spurs us on our journey through history and plants a seed of living hope in our daily commitment to the work before us. Certainly the Christian vision leads to the expectation of “new heavens” and “a new earth” (Rev 21:1), but this increases, rather than lessens, our sense of responsibility for the world today. I wish to reaffirm this forcefully at the beginning of the new millennium, so that Christians will feel more obliged than ever not to neglect their duties as citizens in this world. Theirs is the task of contributing with the light of the Gospel to the building of a more human world, a world fully in harmony with God's plan."

- Ecclesia de Eucharistia, 20
Hope is the Word of God planted like a seed in the soil that is our hearts. We decide what fruit the Word will bear in us, for the Lord forces himself on no one. We are free to choose him or not. To the extent that we do, we have hope. We find this hope realized when we serve our neighbors in Faith and Charity, in Truth and in Love. Thus, as we receive him in the Eucharist, so we must share him with all we meet through our love.

In times of despair, such as after the terrorists attacks in London this past week, the temptation to despair is strongest. These are the times it is easiest to seek vengeance in the name of justice. These are the times when we need hope the most. Let us cling to Christ all the more when sorrow is upon us, that he may be our hope and bring us to joy. Now and everlasting.