Lord, our God,
We dream of a life no longer merely endured but enjoyed, no longer imposed but in-born, no longer coveted but creative, no longer feared but loved. And, Lord, these days, we continue to experience a life that is limited and conditioned. Our hands, called to open, stay closed. Our homes invited to welcome, stay shut. Our churches designed to praise and worship, are silenced. Our hearts remain frozen, O Lord, with fear and anxiety. No, our road leads not to the penetrating sweep of the light of day, but to choking, stifling night, we fear, O Lord.
We are worried, Lord, of the danger of this moment that we may see the mirage of hope -a false hope- rise up before our eyes. We may seem to discern, beyond time, the wonderful things we are denied today. And suddenly we feel we should only wait in resignation for some Other to bestow on us, in a dream universe, what we are no longer willing to strive for today, in this scenario of ours that has become so harsh.
This is the moment of witness; you seem to murmur into our hearts. We seem to hear your voice, "I come" - in a present tense that lasts an eternity - and we know the grace of being discovered by hope. You make our faith in you the great hope that, far from taking the place of our little hopes and strivings, revives them, grafting them onto itself, and conferring on them an unexpected fulfilment. Our faith gives us great hope, the theological virtue, that lives by the revival of our little hopes, not by dashing them. This great hope, Lord, that you give us now teaches us that the Church is falsely spiritual when it is no longer interested in human beings. This great hope, the theological virtue, testifies to us that the Reign of God is given us only in our service to the beauty and grandeur of this world. God of our hope, be blessed. In Jesus’ name. Amen.