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Reflection - April 2016

posted May 11, 2016, 8:37 PM by Nancy DeBiasi   [ updated Nov 16, 2016, 2:08 AM ]

Image result for road to emmausNot long ago a friend described how distressed she felt about the hatred and violence filling the daily news. She sighed, "I am about ready to give up on humanity." My heart plummeted on hearing that conclusion. I protested,"Oh no, you can't give up." I acknowledged she had good cause to feel the way she did. Were I to name the problems on our planet that generate a lack of hope for a better world the list would extend indefinitely. But I continue to believe many more reasons exist for keeping hope close to our hearts.

     I think of the people where I dwell. Many include amicable immigrants living peacefully. I look a bit further and see long-established residents in this American city who find themselves embarrassed by the political bullying and hostile strife currently in vogue. Each of them is trying to give voice and action to the real message of Jesus: "Forgive your enemies. Welcome the homeless. Give food to the hungry. Do not judge. Be compassionate." I look even further, across our globe, and notice countless organizations dedicating their finances and services to promote well-being on our planet. Everywhere I find humanity nudging my heart toward hope.

    The Easter season prompts us to strengthen a positive outlook. The scriptures urge us to go once again to the empty tomb, to let ourselves be as surprised as Mary of Magdala was when the Risen One called her name and lifted her spirit; to enter the renewed hope of the two on the road to Emmaus  - who were as downcast as many are today about the pain humans inflict on one another. It is time to let our spirits be lifted into the encouragement these two received when their Teacher drew them close with tender affection and restored their confidence.
An Easter Prayer For Hope, Joyce Rupp
    Risen Presence, stir hope in us when we waver in our belief about the goodness of humanity.  Turn our face toward the sunrise of each morning. Assure us that every day brings light after night's heavy darkness. Let it remind us that a fresh beginning continually awaits us.
    Open our eyes to recognize signs of your endless love. Draw us close on our own Emmaus roads. When our hearts are disconsolate surprise us with your peace-filled presence. Rekindle our love.
    Clear our mind of the tendency to close off the possibility of a world warm with the glow of human kindness. Veer us away from negativity. Help us delete our thoughts of inner strife and the apprehension of doomsday prophecies.
    Bring us into a remembrance of your empty tomb when we want to give up on humanity's care for one another. Restore our recognition of your presence abiding in each and every human being. Let us look deeply, beyond despicable behavior and brutality, and find the pure essence of your love abiding there.\
    Risen One, breathe hope in us. Again and again. Help us keep it alive by how we think, feel, and live. We dare not let this virtue die.

 Abundant peace,

 Joyce Rupp