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By Sr. Brenda Walsh, Racine Dominican

Some time ago, I heard a presentation given by Fr. Bryan Massingale, Professor of Theology at Marquette University.  He left us with an awesome challenge to bring hope to a broken and divided world Hope is the center of our lives. It is not just an assurance that everything will go as we had hoped.  It is the assurance that no matter how things turn out, God can act through all the events and happenings in our lives and they can be turned into new possibilities and opportunities for life and growth. French poet, Charles Peguy, describes hope as “that little earnest of a bud that appears in April.”  We cannot see the fully-developed flower but it is there in the making within the bud.

This reminds me of a story Harvey Cox told about an American businessman who went to Switzerland to enjoy his vacation. He decided to be adventurous and do some mountain climbing. He found a reliable guide and the two set out to climb the Matterhorn. The first day went well, without incident. At the end of the day, the two settled in for a good night’s sleep.

At night, the temperature drops sharply and ice forms on the glaciers. The early morning sun melts the ice and makes a terrible noise as it tumbles down, as great masses of ice crash against each other The American tourist was paralyzed with fear and shouted at his guide, “Wake up, Wake up. The end of the world is here.” The guide woke up and knew what was happening. He said to his companion: “Go back to sleep. It is not the end of the world. It is the beginning of a new day.” Soon they continued on their upward  journey. The tourist did not let his fear get in the way of reaching his destination.

When we hear about many bad things happening around our world, it is a challenge to visualize a place not plagued by war, a place where the hungry are fed, children are protected and where resources are available to meet the needs of the poor and deprived. We may feel like the tourist and only see the worst. It can be the beginning of a new day with new possibilities. Hope is in the journey as well as the destination. We have the assurance that our Loving God walks with us every step of the way.  Divine power is the source of our hope and strength to bring it about over the long haul.

Fr. Massingale names the pain and agony around the world. The good news, he reminds us, is that most of the problems were created by humans and can also be corrected by humans. Impasse can be a gateway to new possibilities. It can provide opportunities for new life and growth. Escaping the problems is not the answer.

As people of faith, we are obliged to enter the struggle and help create a world that is just, peaceful, humane and respectful of all.  We can get together to look at the causes of the problems and then choose some ways we can do something to create a world according to God’s design. This will include looking at the social, political, economic and spiritual aspects of life, and planning our part in the development of a response. 

Our faith empowers us, Fr. Massingale explains , to be the compassion of Christ and agents of change, of healing and reconciliation in a broken and divided world. St. Paul tells us to give the credit to God “whose power working in us, can help us do infinitely more than we dare ask or imagine. May God be glorified at this time and though future generations. “ Ephesians 1:3, 20-23)

There are many places where we can see signs of hope, which we can name and share with others. St. Paul says: ”I am willing to stand on trial for God’s promise of hope for all people”. We can keep climbing together and know that it is not the end of the world, but the beginning of a new day. God is the God of our journey and not just our destination. Let us journey forward together in hope and work to bring God’s light , hope, and peace to our broken world. 


Preaching Essay Archive

Just click on an Essay title below to read it.
(The latest submissions are listed first.)

• Preaching Mark 2023 •
• Preaching Mark 2022 •
• Even the Hymns Preach •
• Advent 2018 •
• Preaching Luke •
• The Journey Through Lent •
• A New Year - A Time To Choose •
• Called To Continue Our Journey As Peacemakers •
• Easter: A Call To Renew Our Faith •
• Fan Into Flame •
• Grieving Our Losses •
• The Importance of Inter-Religious Sharing •
• Are We Living In Pentecost Times? •
• Living With Gratitude and Hope •
• “Lumen Fidei” – the Call and the Challenge •
• What is the "New Evangelization"? •
• Pentecost •
• Inculturated Liturgy Challenges Preaching to Flower •
• Preaching Lent - Year C •
• Reflection - Psalm 127 •
• Reaching Youth Today •
• The Need To Reclaim And Live With Moral Courage •
• The Sacred Triduum •
• Welcoming the Stranger •
• Working for Peace •


Blessings on your preaching.

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