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Following the Example of Hope

 
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Prayer-Soldier
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 15, 2020 3:12 pm    Post subject: Following the Example of Hope Reply with quote

Following the Example of Hope

Scripture:


And Philip, going down to the city of Samaria, preached Christ unto them. And the people with one accord were attentive to those things which were said by Philip, hearing, and seeing the miracles which he did. For many of them who had unclean spirits, crying with a loud voice, went out. And many, taken with the palsy, and that were lame, were healed.

Now, when the apostles, who were in Jerusalem, had heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John. Who, when they were come, prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit. For he was not as yet come upon any of them: but they were only baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. Then they laid their hands upon them: and they received the Holy Spirit.
(Acts 8:5-8, 14-17)

But sanctify the Lord Christ in your hearts, being ready always to satisfy every one that asks you a reason of that hope which is in you. But with modesty and fear, having a good conscience: that whereas they speak evil of you, they may be ashamed who falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ. For it is better doing well (if such be the will of God) to suffer than doing ill. Because Christ also died once for our sins, the just for the unjust: that he might offer us to God, being put to death indeed in the flesh, but enlivened in the spirit.
( 1 Peter 3:15-18 )

If you love me, keep my commandments. And I will ask the Father: and he shall give you another Paraclete, that he may abide with you for ever: The spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it sees him not, nor knows him. But you shall know him; because he shall abide with you and shall be in you. I will not leave you orphans: I will come to you. Yet a little while and the world sees me no more. But you see me: because I live, and you shall live. In that day you shall know that I am in my Father: and you in me, and I in you. He that has my commandments and keeps them; he it is that loves me. And he that loves me shall be loved of my Father: and I will love him and will manifest myself to him.
(John 14:15-21)

Reflection:

As we survey the news of our day, we often find truth in short supply. Our media is paid to tend to political narratives rather than truth or what is right and just. The politics of ideologies infect conversations, setting one against another. The pursuit of power yields the temptations of lies. The evil one smiles as divisions are sown, while hate and vitriol dominates the social discourse.

We might be tempted to despair as turmoil surrounds us and voices rise to amplify outrage. We might be tempted to believe we are helpless in the face of those with the power to oppress. That is the desire of the evil one, that we should abandon all hope. The faithful are not so easily seduced, for their hope does not come from the world. They draw their hope from the One who laid down His life so that all might live. It is He who taught us the greatest power and calls us to share it with one another.

Alone, we cannot hope to defeat the powers which the evil one sets against us, but if we turn to the One of Light, He will guide us to the means by which His Light may be shared to extinguish the darkness. It is through His Light that death was conquered. It is by His Light we may follow Him to the kingdom He has prepared for us.

As we confess to the world the reason for our hope, we might expect there are those who will rise against us, for they have been blinded to the Gospel of love. In moments of conflict, the temptation will present itself to strike out, but instead, we must summon our strength to speak as the Lord would have us speak, with the blessings of love and the power of what is right and just.

If we desire, as God does, that love is to dominate the world, we must let it flow through us. As we feel the temptations of the darkness, we must ask for the Holy Spirit to lead us away. As we approach one another, we must do so with all humility, civility, dignity, and respect so we may live the example set before us. Let us, then, encourage one another, calling upon the Holy Spirit as our guide, so that we may amplify the Light sent to illuminate and guide the world.

Questions for further reflection:

In what ways do we seek to learn the ways of God?

In what ways are we prepared to give reason for our hope?

In what ways do we open ourselves so the Holy Spirit may guide us?

May the peace and blessings of the Lord be with you always,
Prayer Soldier

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