Will You be the Hope?

A twenty-something African-American male steps onto the stage, face clenched to deflect pain, eyes chilled with hatred. He starts his poetry slam blending words, slurs, and rhymes of anger with the intelligence and creativity equal to a sheltered academic crafting his lecture on some obscure topic. He repeats his tag-line:

“When they show us hope, we’ll show them peace.”

The words echo throughout the non-diverse audience. Shouts of approval and raised gang symbols flood the atmosphere. This gentleman, poor, un-educated, a gang criminal, and a detriment to society,  has struck a chord with his demand:

“When they show us hope, we’ll show them peace.”

Those words have weight.  They demand a response.

This poet’s angry cry has profound insight as we contemplate Advent. We all want to feel the peace that Christ’s birth in Christmas brings, but it doesn’t come to anyone who is not convinced of the hope we find in the Advent season through Mary’s example.

One pillar of the charism of Brothers and Sisters of Love is to “Trust in God.”  Mary’s ultimate trust in God gave her the courage to carry the hope of Jesus into this world.  It must have been tempting to hide from the challenge before her—an unwed woman in her society could be punished with death by stoning.  At the very least she would be disgraced.  Yet her trust in God was strong enough to remain faithful to the task before her.  Mary’s trust was the quality necessary for her to carry hope to our world.  Hope exists when our trust in God grants us the courage to act for God’s will.

Where do we find the hope? The hope lies in each one of us. The bigger question: How can we be the hope? We look to Mary’s example of saying “yes” to the vocation God gave her and gives each of us.

Peace comes when we follow God’s will for action in our lives—whether it is being of service to our community, the sick, gang members, or strangers across the globe. Every single day we have the opportunity to act and inspire hope. Gutierrez states that “There are no situations, however difficult, that amount to an exception or a parenthesis in the universal demands of Christian love.”  Exceptions and parentheses are fabricated in response to fear.  However, love casts out fear when we trust that God will carry us through our work. What is preventing you from letting God’s love into your heart?” What fear prevents you from saying yes to being God’s hope?.

“When they show us hope, we’ll show them peace.”

Each morning, follow Mary and face the discomfort that saying “yes” may entail. And pray to be the hope, so that we can all prepare for the peace of Christ to enter our lives here on Earth.

–Megan Sherrier, BSL

**Originally published at www.catholicsoncall.org

Support BSL’s Mission today via paypal: www.brothersandsistersoflove.com

About Brothers and Sisters of Love

The Mission of Brothers and Sisters of Love is to be a visible sign of Jesus’ Love, Peace, and Presence to the poor in gang-infested neighborhoods in Chicago and to be a bridge between gangs & the poor with the Church. This is done by: 1. Loving everyone 2. Trusting in God 3. Forgiving everyone everything 4. Never being afraid.
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1 Response to Will You be the Hope?

  1. Cherie says:

    Great message Megan, thank you. Love, Aunt Cherie

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