Hope Cannot Be Silenced
Have you ever had to take a break from the news or shut the TV off because the story was just too much to take in? All the reminders of pain, injustice, and misfortune in the world around us can be overwhelming at times. Sometimes the problems feel so insurmountable that we become frustrated, even angry at the constant reminders of our powerlessness. At our worst, we may block out not only the problems but our compassion for the people who are suffering and crying out for help.
In today’s gospel, a man who suffers cries out again and again for mercy as Jesus passes by. Yet his cries are too much for others gathered around, who are annoyed by the man and want him to be quiet. In his cries they hear only hopelessness, pain, and misfortune with no remedy; they hear their own powerlessness. But Jesus hears something different: rather than the problem, pain, misfortune, and human weakness, he hears a person in need, hope, and divine strength. Jesus hears the man’s faith that his cries will not be in vain, and his trust in God’s mercy and power. When Jesus hears the suffering one crying out in hope, it is the beginning of healing.
In Christian assembly, we gather to lift up our own cries and to hear those of others. The peace that comes when the body of Christ gathers is not achieved by shutting out the sounds of a world in pain, but through the hope that wherever they ring forth, God is already present and listening and ready to heal. As you listen in your own life and among those gathered today, what do you hear? And how is God calling you to respond?
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