The first reading from Isaiah takes on a particular significance as we look at Jerusalem, the West Bank, Gaza, and the neighboring countries like Syria. Do we even dare to hope that
They shall beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks; One nation shall not raise the sword against another, nor shall they train for war again. ?
The gospel gives us the true, but difficult, Christian response:
Lord, I am not worthy to have you enter under my roof; only say the word and my servant will be healed, the statement of absolute faith by the centurion in Matthew's gospel.
We are the people who, grounded in faith, never loose hope. Even we faced with situations with few or no visible signs of hope, we trust in the power and promise of God.