Sirens of Hope

12 Dec

In a 911 emergency call there is that assuring, “Help is on the way.” It is followed almost all the time by, “Hurry! Please hurry!” – and another reassuring, “Help is on the way.”

It is actually just a matter of minutes, but for the one waiting for the help and the one on the way to help, it seems like forever. The one coming sounds the siren, to clear the way, to straighten the path. For the one waiting, the siren is the sound of hope. The louder it gets, the better.

In the corners of the sanctuary, and from the ambo and on the altar in between, we find hope and help.

Out in Brown County, there is a mission called, “Hope Emergency,” run by two of the Ursulines of Brown County, who live in our parish and worship with on Sundays. On the days before Thanksgiving, their Hope Emergency fed 503 families, that is, over a thousand people. The Sisters and the volunteers heard over and over again, “We don’t know what we would do without Hope.” Is that an Advent theme, or not? With the wrapped gifts that you brought to church with you today, you provide something for over 700 people. The gifts go out in many directions. Some of those gifts go to Hope Emergency. On the days before Christmas, the Sisters will hear, “Without you there would be no food on our table. Without you, we would not have Christmas.

In the Scriptures, Isaiah and John the Baptist are the sirens. Isaiah sirens: Hope is coming (in the Messiah). In John the Baptist the siren gets louder and louder: Hope has arrived (in Christ). Isaiah and John are the sirens, the sounds of hope, the voices crying out in the desert, clearing the way for help and hope. Christ is Hope. In Christ, hope has come, hope comes now, and hope will come again. 

With the prophet and the Baptist in the Scriptures, with the pink candle and the rose vestment of Gaudete Sunday, with the wrapped gifts piled in the sanctuary, and most especially and most lastingly and most lavishly, with the divine gifts consecrated on the altar, we keep hope.  Help is on the way. Hope is here.

We make this three-fold proclamation of God’s mercy:

Lord Jesus Christ, without you we would not have Christmas.

Lord Jesus Christ, without you we have no sacrifice on the altar; we have no food on the table.

Lord Jesus Christ, without you we are without hope.

But with you …..

One Response to “Sirens of Hope”

  1. Carol December 12, 2011 at 3:51 pm #

    thank you for the hope that comes after the sirens. The sirens are blaring so I have to believe hope is on its way.

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