The Time for Hope

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April 16, 2017 Click on the left end of the black bar to play/pause

April 16, 2017
Matthew 28:1-10
Fr. George Smiga

Tristan Bernard was a popular poet, novelist, and playwright living in Paris in the first part of the 20th century. When Hitler’s troops invaded France, Bernard knew that because of his Jewish heritage he would be targeted for deportation and death. For several years he waited for the Gestapo to strike. When they finally arrived at his door in order to take him and his family to the deportation camp, his wife began to cry. Bernard turned to her and said, “The time for fear is over. Now is the time for hope.”

When that which we dread finally occurs, there is nothing left to fear. When we lose someone we love in death, when the cancer returns, when our marriage ends, the time for fear is over. Then, facing the evil that is before us, we must choose between hope and despair. The resurrection of Jesus is the source of Christian hope. Jesus’ resurrection from the tomb is the revelation of a God who loves humanity and is able and willing to act in our lives and in our world.

Now it takes faith to believe in Jesus’ resurrection. There is no way to prove that Jesus was raised from the dead. But those gifted with faith dare to believe that God is real enough and powerful enough to raise one who is crucified to new life. And if God is able to raise up one man, then God is real enough and powerful enough to move us from death to life and to transform this broken world into the Kingdom of God. This is why Christ’s resurrection is at the heart of Christianity. It testifies that hope is always possible because God is real and God can act. It is this faith that those who are going to be baptized tonight profess. As they are buried in the waters of Baptism and rise to leave the font, they testify to the power and the hope of a God who is real enough to transform them and change them.

Christian hope is not about inaction. We know that as Christians we must oppose injustice and serve one another. But Christian hope does not rise primarily from our own abilities and successes, but from the power of the God of Resurrection. So when what you dread occurs, when your life falls apart, when the world is in disarray, when human rights are violated, when the environment is ignored, when you look evil in the eye, remember: the time for fear is over. Now is the time to hope in the power of the One who raised Jesus from the dead.

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