St. Paul tells us that there are three things that truly matter: faith, hope and love. We must, as Catholics, not only assume these exist in our lives, we must constantly cultivate them. Like a tender garden in our soul, faith, hope and love must be sown, watered, saved from choking weeds, and strengthened by our daily attendance.
Hope. St. Paul tells us that, even when we are in affliction, we must hope. Indeed, affliction produces hope, through endurance and character. There is nothing that should separate us from our hope in Jesus Christ.
And all that is good and right and true. But then we watch the news or see another daily horror visited over and over again on social media. Violence and bloodshed and children missing and injured and those sent to help denigrated. The weeds begin to creep in, intertwining with hope, suffocating hope from the light it needs to survive.
But that is not the end. The weeds and the violence and the sense of abandonment are not the final word. Christ is the beginning and the end, the Alpha and Omega. He is our answer, the Light our garden needs. We are not meant to be left alone, isolated, bereft in a garden that no longer produces good, but is now only an abandoned lot that no one claims.
Father Luis Espinal, S.J. knew this. Our little plot of hope needs our attention, now more than ever. Fr. Espinal gave us just the prayer we need.
There are Christians
Who have hysterical reactions
As if the world had slipped out of God’s hands.
They are violent
As if they were risking everything.
But we believe in history.
The world is not a roll of the dice
On its way toward chaos.
A new world has begun to happen
Since Christ has risen.
We rejoice in your definitive triumph
With our bodies still in the breach,
Our souls in tension;
We cry our first “Hurrah!”
Till eternity unfolds itself.
Your sorrow now has passed.
Your enemies have failed.
You are the definitive smile for humankind.
What matter the wait now for us?
We accept the struggle and the death,
Because you, our love, will not die!
We march behind you on the road to the future.
You are with us. You are our immortality.
Take away the sadness from our faces;
We are not in a game of chance.
You have the last word!
Beyond the crushing of our bones,
Now has begun the eternal “Alleluia!”
From the thousands of openings
In our wounded bodies and souls,
There now arises a triumphal song!
So teach us to give voice
To your new life throughout the world,
Because you dry the tears of the oppressed forever,
And death will disappear.