‘Cheer up! On your feet! He’s calling you.’
What a hopeful calling. When Jesus speaks, hope is near.
Hope is giving us confidence in the future, optimism about what the future will bring someone, the prospect of something better.
In these difficult times, when our world is out of joint, no stone left standing, it is human to give up hope and let our courage sink, because who knows what the future holds—especially for those who have been affected by the earthquakes in Turkey and Syria, who have lost much and had their wishes and dreams buried under the rubble?
Therefore, the question arises all the more: Who or what gives us hope and support? Who brings hope to the refugee camps, to those who have just escaped a war, destruction, persecution, and earthquake, who have to spend their days in a foreign land, because they cannot live in their own homeland? It is a matter of surviving and continuing to live every day. Hope - in such a hopeless situation!!
On his last journey, one week before the crucifixion, Jesus passed through Jericho. There he encountered a begging blind man, bereft of all hope, sitting by the roadside and crying out to Jesus in his inward and outward distress, "Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me." Jesus stopped and said to the crowd, "Call him here." They called the blind man and said, "Cheer up! On your feet! He’s calling you." (Mk 10:49). Because Jesus looks at each of us and calls us to Himself just as He did the blind man, hope becomes tangible for us as well.
After this encounter, Jesus went on to Jerusalem, suffered the agony in the Garden of Gethsemane, his darkest moments on the cross and the cold tomb. This certainly caused hopelessness in many who witnessed it: Jesus - dead.
The events overturned when Jesus was raised from death on the third day: His tomb is empty. Jesus is alive!
Konrad Adenauer (Germany's first chancellor), who survived World War II and governed a Germany that lay in ruins, once said, "If Jesus is not risen, then there is no hope for this world." He saw hope for the German people; war and destruction did not have the last word. Even today, suffering, destruction and loss need not have the last word, but Jesus Christ, who promises us life and hope.
The disciples had placed their hope in Jesus, and then he died on the cross. With that, their perspective on life also died and they knew not where to go. They went out to the Sea of Galilee and got into their fishing boat to pursue what they were doing before Jesus met them. That night they did not catch a single fish. Early in the morning - after the night of challenge and despair- "Jesus stood on the shore..." (John 21:4).
This is what gives us hope, that Jesus has conquered death, offers us life!
I wish you days full of hope!