Discouragement is the great antithesis of HOPE, for when we become discouraged , Hope is deprived of its power to shape our decisions and attitudes. In the Letter to the Hebrews, found in the first reading of today’s Liturgy, the author says that we must “encourage each other daily while it is still today.” None of us wants to be the source of another’s discouragement, which drains the spirit of motivation.
As jesus frees the man of his leprosy, the man runs away in joy rooted in Hope. The healing filled him with “encouragement” to live life in a new way. The very word “encouragement” means to be filled with “courage,” a gift of the Holy Spirit. This gift of courage empowers us to face the many trials of life with resolve and hope.
As I sit praying, I can see the sky beginning to fill with light and color. God, the Artist , is at clearly at work painting the sky in shades of orange and red and pink. These streaks of color fill me with encouragement and hope. My task and yours: be a source of encouragement to those around us , bringing God’s color and beauty into their lives. Be a source of healing to one with “spiritual leprosy “and watch them dance away in joy.
Peace and Joy. Fr. Frank