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Reflection – Relentless Hope

It is a quote that I use frequently when sleep does not come.  This week has been one of those weeks.  We are being battered, and though important to put it in perspective, remembering that others have suffered much worse for far longer, the tragedies are relentless.  Every week there is something else.  Poor Nova Scotia; I’m not sure how much more they can take.

“Remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”  Those with faith know that to be a truth.  Those with faith know the importance of keeping “the hope to which [we are] … called.”  Those with faith know “it is not for us to know the times or periods …”  And those with faith are still permitted to shout ‘enough is enough.’  

Our young people want to celebrate their graduations from high school and university; our young couples want to celebrate their weddings in traditional ways; our families who are mourning the death of loved ones want to celebrate their lives surrounded by family and friends; our children and their parents want to celebrate the sacraments of initiation; our faithful want to gather in their faith communities on Sunday morning; our grandparents want to hold their new grandchildren.  We want to mark the days of summer by laying on the beach, opening our tables and our homes to friends, mingling with children and their parents on the soccer pitch, travelling across the country and around the world on vacation.  And if we can’t do any of that yet, we at least want to know when we can … by July? by September? by Christmas?  The  advertisements from the province and the country tell us while we are apart now, we won’t be forever.  Two plus months in, it is beginning to feel like forever.

Yet this is where I saw God this month: our closest friends celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary Wednesday past.   Such a significant milestone was unable to be celebrated in the way they had planned.  Instead, they organized a virtual gathering with their families and closest friends, renewed their vows, shared a glass of wine (or two), viewed a slide show of 25 years of love and memories and danced together. 

Our son Marc celebrated a birthday earlier this month.  Birthdays are big in our house, and none bigger than Marc’s.  35 of our friends drove 18 of their decorated cars up and down our street for 10 minutes blowing their horns, delivering treasures to mark the occasion.  Later that night 20 of 22 of his cousins participated in a Zoom gathering to wish him the best.  All his aunts and uncles contacted him through text, phone calls or FaceTime. 

My youngest brother celebrated a birthday this month also, and his youngest child organized a surprise Zoom gathering so all his siblings could sing Happy Birthday together.  I could go on and on, and this is only in my very small part of the world.  “I am with you always.”  Keep “the hope to which he has called you.”  Enough is enough; we are tired of the pandemic; we are tired of the seemingly endless tragedy.  Yet somehow, God is with us … always.  Maybe we don’t need to know when it will end; faith simply tells us that it will.  For today … that is enough.

Ellen Bennett
Archdiocese of Moncton, Office of Faith Development

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