The Underrated Gift of Hope
One morning recently during my morning meditation and while I was praying my way through the Mass, I noticed some grief and sadness in my heart. Sadness is an experience of loss. We are sad when we have had something, like a fulfilling relationship, and now it is missing for some reason. Or we are sad because we have lost hope that the thing that is missing will ever be reclaimed. Most of us never experience complete and total fulfilment in life, but it is Hope that sustains us when those fulfilling things of life go missing.
Hope is the gift that always pulls us forward and most of us take it for granted until it goes missing. Hope keeps our efforts going. Nothing can be done without hope. Without hope everything stops. We can see this in our everyday lives. When a person reaches the point of having no hope in anything, it is as if he or she were dead. Often people even kill themselves or allow themselves to die slowly.
Easter is a season of hope. I like to think that God gave us 40 days to prepare our hearts during Lent for the Resurrection and an extra 10 days, 50 days in total, to prepare our hearts for the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. It is truly the Holy Spirit dwelling in us that brings our faith to life and brings hope to life as well. “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who in his great mercy gave us a new birth to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead” (1 Peter 1:3).
Fr. Cantalamessa commented once that, “The Gospels report many of Christ’s sayings on faith and charity but nothing on hope. On the contrary, after Easter, we witness a literal explosion of the idea and feeling of hope in the teachings of the apostles. Hope comes alongside faith and charity to make up the new Christian life. God himself is called the ‘God of Hope’” (Rom 15:13).
I pray that wherever you are experiencing hopelessness in your life for whatever reason, you may begin to experience a rebirth of hope, “Because the love of God has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us” (Rom 5:1-5).
From sadness that morning, I began to pray for hope and the Lord answered my prayer. My prayer sounded something like this, “Lord, give me hope that you will fulfill all that I long for someday.” Feel free to try it for yourself.
Fr. Jeff Lorig, Pastor