Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Hope in Everyday Life

Happy Easter!

Easter is a season of hope.  We see Jesus die, and then see Him resurrected, with the hope that we may also be resurrected on the last day.  We hope in things unseen, like heaven, and we hope that we will get there when we die.

But there is a lot of life that happens before our deaths.  How does hope affect us every day?

Well Easter tends to coincide with a lot of very worldly new beginnings.  People graduate from schools, which for many means the beginning of new careers.  For the young, this may mean new life in the world as a 'grown-up'.  Would they have bothered with all the work of studying, if they did not have the hope of reward (gainful employment) at the end?

Fields and gardens are planted in the spring with the hope of the produce to come.

In our own families, we see hope expressed frequently as people strive for better health.  Those with unexplained and undiagnosed illnesses can benefit greatly from the hope of a treatment or cure that can mitigate their conditions.  Having been in that state myself for a long time, I can tell you what a danger to self is the loss of hope.

Romans 8:24-25  tells us that hope is for something we don't or can't see.  Why would you hope for something which you already know and see?  

This explains a lot why people in dire circumstances can still hope.  This explains why people pray for solutions.  If you know what the solution is, you'd do it.  When you don't know what the solution is you hope.

Hope is not the same as wishing.  Hope is confident and active.  Wishing is sitting back and musing about how you'd like something to be.  I fully believe that wishing can become hoping, but it doesn't happen automatically.  Praying about something is hopeful.  We know God answers prayers, even if that answer is not always what we expect.  Wishing for a garden becomes hoping for a garden when you start planting seeds.  Wishing to be a doctor becomes hoping when you register for classes.

We Christians need to do a lot of hoping.  It seems the past years have been rife with excuses to lose hope.  People to whom we should be looking for inspiration are letting us down.  When we try to do as Christ has asked us through His Church, we are derided and called names, even by those with whom we worship.  Various media give us a seemingly endless list of reasons why, according to themselves, we should be embarassed to be who we are.

But we have Jesus, who warned us that we will be hated because He was hated first.  We also have the promise that God's ways will eventually conquer the ways of evil.

Catholics are told that we are to attend Mass on all Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation.  I think we can see this wisdom of the Church as a way of bringing us hope as it brings us Jesus, Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity.

Let thy mercy, O Lord, be upon us, as we have hoped in Thee..