Tuesday, March 10, 2009 – Obadiah – Outrageous Hope
This reading follows several which have called us to self-examination. Today we look at the concept of Christian Hope. At just about this same time last year we reflected on what hope can mean to a remnant people longing for freedom, to an individual looking for justice. This spring let us think about the gift of patience . . . which sustains hope . . . and rewards the faithful.
From the Biblia de América: Christian faith teaches us that our pardoning of enemies must be limitless, that our faith in God must be infinite, and that because of this, our love as lived out in the Gospel manner will overcome all obstacles. One who petitions God with an outrageous hope enters into salvific suffering and, with Christ, breaks the violence that spirals out of control. The target in this brief prophecy is Edom, but it can be any stiff-necked person or any cold-hearted situation which attempts to stifle the burgeoning of love and hope. In this way, this brief book written in the fifth century before Christ gives us the reins we can use in this twenty-first century after Christ to ride out any storm. This cry for vengeance rings true for anyone who has been betrayed, maligned or even put to symbolic or actual death for standing on the guiding principles brought by the Ten Commandments or the Beatitudes. But likewise, the call for hope is a brief message of supreme importance because it tells us this: Through the ravaging, the faithful remain connected to God. Through the pain, those who are relentless in their hope receive consolation. Those who are faithful need not fight; they only need to stand in God’s name and witness.
Rather than get “down and dirty” and involve ourselves in petty squabbles or conflicts about which we can do nothing, we must continue to present God’s point of view to the world . . . which is this . . .
We are called by the Gospel to pardon always, to hope always, to love always, to ask always, and to expect always. We are called to look for solutions which change systems in the ultimate hope of changing the world for the better. This is considered outrageous by many but in the end it is the only remedy that will erase the desire for vengeance and even more violence.
After pondering the many forms of divorce and adultery over the past few days we rest today in God’s solution. We are to follow our vocation (our calling from God) to speak truth to untruth, hope to despair, and love to indifference. The rest we leave in the hands of God.