Ultimately Bread and Wine

Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and reverence ... (1 Peter 3:15-16)

The clearest signs of hope in my life all have faces and names. Some of them are those who reverence life in the midst of suffering and death. They have an uncluttered sense of goodness, beauty, and truth, which cannot be scrambled with the evil that permeates our world. They entrust themselves to a rhythm and harmony of life that carries them beyond themselves into the future. They bear this most precious gift of hope without pretense and with patience. Yes, they are real. Thank you, Lalo, Gabriel, Maura, and Regina.

Other signs of hope in my life, who also have faces and names, have a rhythm that is more conflictive. They challenge and confront the evil in our world. They make mistakes, but they get up and continue into the future. The gift of hope they carry in their hearts burns with anxiety and at times with frustration. It both illumines and destroys. They live in struggle. They are not mere optimists, nor do they seek fame and control. They too entrust themselves to a life that carries them into the future. Thank you, Mario, Jean, and Ita.

But perhaps these signs of hope are too tangible. As Paul says, "Now hope that is seen is not hope" (Romans 8:24).

Today I have one great hope in my heart. It has to do with camels and eyes of needles, with 2,000 swine rushing into the sea, with mustard seeds, with five loaves of bread and two fish, and, ultimately, with bread and wine.

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