Tuesday, January 18, 2011

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.

But what do we hope for? We use the word all the time and for the most frivolous of things. Some say they hope that their football team wins or that it snows tomorrow. Hebrews expresses hope for the “unshakeable kingdom,” which we know as eternal life. It is not a far off “never, never land” but as close to us as we are to ourselves. It is the joy of sharing with loved ones – both living and dead – a smile along with a piece of bread.

Hope has been called the youngest of three children addling between her sisters, faith and love. Often it seems that the elder children must pull along hope which wonders how God might reverse the arrow of time so that we might approach again our parents, friends, or teachers who have crossed death’s threshold. But at times hope is distinctly in the lead urging us to believe and to care so that we might enjoy renewed companionship with our loved ones.