Homily: Called to Hope

Fr. Brian Zumbrum’s homilies and reflections are posted weekly at Leaven in the World prior to a given Sunday. To see the archive of all his posts, just click hereSalesian Sermons

6th Sunday of Easter, Year A |May 24/25, 2014

PROTIP: Before reading on, be sure to take a look at the Sunday readings here. This homily focuses on the second and Gospel readings.

Be ready to give an explanation to anyone who asks you for a reason for your hope.

Aren’t there times, my friends, when that seems much harder to do?

I will be honest; this week was a difficult week for me.

I had a colleague who was in the hospital, a brother Oblate who buried his father, and a school that was racing towards the finish line.

I put in a 40 hour workweek in three days, as I needed to take the other two days to drive back and forth to Michigan for the funeral.

Needless to say, I was exhausted: physically, mentally and spiritually.

And with that exhaustion came the creeping tendency to doubt, to despair.

I will never be able to get everything done.

It is all too much.

I can’t do this.

So imagine the state I was in, when I read that line from the second reading . . .

What was the reason for my hope?

Why do I keep coming to work each day?

Why do I stay in the fire, when it would be so much easier to walk away?

I believe that my situation is not unique.

I believe that we all have those moments in which we are running on empty, in which we don’t have anything more to give, in which we question if we can keep doing it all.

It is the parent’s cry:  I just don’t know what to do with him?

It is the child who cries, I just wish they would leave me alone.

It is the caregiver who cries, I don’t know how much longer I can do this.

It is the working mom who cries, I can’t do this on my own.

It is the cry of  . . . What does it matter?  What’s the point? that sounds from boardrooms and break rooms, bedrooms and bathrooms.

Where is our hope, my friends?

It is right here, in the Gospel we have just heard.

For our hope is found in Christ.

Christ who is present to each of us, each day.

In those who choose to love as he loved.

When I stopped and thought back over this week, I realized that Christ had been all around me.

In the student who checked to see how I was doing when I got back on Friday from the funeral.

In my boss who took one of my classes to make sure that I didn’t have to worry about it.

In my colleague who chose to come to school with his injured leg so that I could go to the funeral

In my brother Oblate who drove most of the 19 hours so that I could grade in the car.

In my family and friends who allowed me to vent without judgment, who embraced my despair, my anger, my frustration, my exhaustion, my fear, my pain and returned nothing but love.

The reason for my hope had always been there.  I had just missed him because I had stopped looking.

We are nearing the end of our Easter season my friends.  And the reality is, it can be hard to sustain our Easter joy, our Easter faith, our Easter hope amidst the trials and tribulations of this life.  We can stop looking.  We can stop believing.  We can stop hoping.

That is why we are given these readings once again as a reminder.

So that we may inspired be once again to work to see Christ in all those we will meet . . . our spouses, our children, our friends, our co-workers, our neighbors, our enemies, the strangers in our midst.

So that we may be reminded once again of our call to be Christ to those we will meet.

So that we may choose once again to live differently . . .

With hope in the future

With joy in the moment

With love towards each person we encounter.

And in so doing, we too will be able to provide an explanation for our hope.

May God be Praised.


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