Tuesday of the Second Week in Ordinary Time
(Hebrews 6:10-20; Mark 2:23-28)
Today’s first reading is the source of the familiar Christian icon for the virtue of hope. The author of the Letter to the Hebrews is saying that hope steadies our belief in God’s promise as an anchor stays a boat. Without hope we would drift away with the currents of fashion or the breezes of comfort. Hope moves us to struggle if necessary to maintain our faith in God.
Unfortunately we often trivialize hope. We say that we hope that our team wins the Super Bowl or that it doesn’t freeze tomorrow. These wishes are puny in comparison with the hope expressed in Hebrews for the “unshakeable kingdom,” that is eternal life. Let us be sure that eternal life is not a “never, never land” but begins here. It is the joy of sharing with loved ones – both living and dead – a heart-felt hymn along with a piece of consecrated bread.
Hope has been described as the youngest of three siblings loping between her sisters, faith and love. Often it seems that the elder children must pull along hope, which wonders how God might transform the silence of death so that we could again experience the company of our relatives, friends, and teachers who have crossed its threshold. But sometimes hope is distinctly in front urging belief and care so that God might find us worthy of the fullness of life with our loved ones.