Antonio Zebedeo Abad
I hope he’s coming. Well, that doesn’t sound very optimistic, but that’s the popular idea of hope. But imagine if some long-lost friend or relative you haven’t seen in a very long time is coming to your holiday dinner, that’s the idea of hope that brings memories of a loving relationship, the joy of seeing each other, and the peace that reconciling the past brings. That follows the themes of the four Sundays of Advent.
The chosen race was waiting for the Messiah for centuries. Would you have given up hope? Would you have given up trust?
Thus says the LORD:Zephaniah 3:1-2
Woe to the city, rebellious and polluted,
to the tyrannical city!
She hears no voice,
accepts no correction;
In the Lord she has not trusted,
to her God she has not drawn near.
But do not ignore this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years and a thousand years like one day.2 Peter 3:8
And when He finally came, “He was despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.”Isaiah 53:3
In many cases, we base our trust on the trustworthiness of the person. Yet, we don’t consider how trusting we really are. Trust is a two-way street. Jesus Christ is the most trustworthy of men, yet men were not trusting enough to trust Him.
A stray dog that you try to rescue has very elevated anxiety because it has gone through so much experience of deception and rejection. Even when you try to console the stray dog, it has to experience your love in action over a period of time before it learns to take comfort in your love and trust you.
Today is feast of Carmelite St John of the Cross who wrote, “Where there is no love, put love, and you will draw out love.” There are seemingly impossible situations where this doesn’t seem to apply, but the saint thought this while he was imprisoned in darkness by his fellow friars. That dark room with a ceiling too low to stand in is where he composed in his mind the epic poem, “The Dark Night of the Soul”.St John of the Cross
Even the forty years that the Israelites were in the desert was enough for them to lose hope. As King David wrote: Forty years, I endured that generation. They are a people whose hearts go astray. Therefore I swore in my anger, “They shall not enter into my rest”.Psalm 95: 10-11
And the second Isaiah wrote: “Comfort ye, my people. Prepare the way of the Lord. Make straight in the desert a highway for our God. Every valley shall be exalted and every mountain and hill made low; and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain. And the glory of the LORD shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it. O Thou that tellest good tidings to Zion … say unto the cities of Judah: Behold your God. He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young.”Isaiah 40: 1-11
Those are words that bring profound hope, profound love, profound joy, and profound peace. Composer George Friedrich Handel brings scripture to life in his music with this theme:
The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light. For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.Isaiah 9:2,6