HOPE CHANGES EVERYTHING
Isaiah 2:1-5; Romans 13:11-14; Matthew 24:37-44
A school tutored its students, while they were in hospital, to stay abreast with their academics. Once, it sent a tutor to teach a boy nouns and adverbs, which his class was studying. The boy had been seriously injured in an accident.
When the tutor reached his room, she was unnerved by his state, and stammered: “Your school sent me to teach you nouns and adverbs.” The next day, a nurse asked her: “What did you do to that boy?” The teacher thought she had done something wrong and began to apologize. The nurse said: “No, no! Since yesterday, his attitude has changed; he’s fighting back, responding to treatment. It’s as though he’s decided to live.”
Later the boy explained that he had given up hope until the tutor arrived. Everything changed when he realized that “they wouldn’t send a teacher to work on nouns and adverbs with a dying boy!”
Hope changes everything!
Isaiah (first reading) writes during a period of wars and intrigue, alienation and division. In this time of discouragement, his is a message of hope: our faithful God is with us and is bringing us together. He predicts a time of unity and peace symbolized by people transforming “swords into ploughshares and spears into pruning hooks” (changing weapons of war into tools for growth).
This is the message we need today!
No matter where we live, there is uncertainty, violence, upheaval. We need to hope… and make it change everything. In Paul’s words to the Romans, we need to throw off the works of darkness and put on the armour of light; we need to live upright lives.
The gospel, too, is a hopeful reassurance that the Lord will come. We need to stay awake and be prepared.
God doesn’t send his Son into a “dying” world!
During this Advent season, will I hope and make it change everything? Will I allow light into places of darkness? Will I work for reconciliation and unity in my family/ community/ society? What swords do I need to beat into ploughshares and what spears into pruning hooks?
By: Fr. Dr. Vinod Mascarenhas SDB