Hope that sees for itself is not hope, for who hopes for what he sees?

Tuesday, 10/29/13

I was officiating at a wedding last month, and I had some fitting words prepared, but then, looking down at the fine young couple. I thought of what a troubled world they were bringing their new marriage into.

Then, words from today’s Gospel popped into my head. I thought of Jesus saying, “The kingdom of heaven is like yeast which a woman mixes with three measures of four until the whole mass begins to rise.” And I saw the young couple and the marriage they would establish as that yeast which would cause the spiritually inert people around them to come to life and rise.

And I said that to Ramsey and Justin, and they nodded, taking the challenge.

But, let me turn to the first reading in which St. Paul sounds like that Jesuit philosopher, Teilhard de Chardin. Both of them spoke of all creation as though it was yearning to be transformed and fulfilled.

The Church never bought Teilhard Chardin’s theories, but neither did she condemn them. He said that just as creation has spread itself into billions of species, so the time will come when evolution will go into reverse, with all species  converging to become one in Christ. The beginning of creation Teilhard called the Alpha point, the eventual convergence the Omega point.

St. Paul calls this coming together as the time when all of creation is set free in Christ. He tells us we must hope to be witnesses to the glory that is to come. That has us saying something like, “Yes, we are hoping for it, but couldn’t you give us just a little foretaste of it, making hoping easier.”

His answer to that was, “No.”

Then, elaborating on that “No” answer, he said, “Hope that sees for itself is not hope, for who hopes for what one sees?”

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