We Live in Hope
Lent Reflection
Father Matthew McMorrow - St. Joseph Parish and St. Mary Parish, Freeport, Pastor Aquin Catholic Schools,. Spiritual Director
March 14, 2024

What is Hope?

We might say, “I hope it doesn’t rain.”

“I hope I get the job.”

“I hope the Bears are better this year.”

This is not what the Bible means when we are told to have hope. Notice the uncertainty in these statements. If we have certainty in our ordinary language about the future, we say “I know,” not “I hope.”

On the other hand, Biblical hope is certain, but not yet fulfilled. We can’t see it yet, nor grasp it, but the Apostles speak of what they know Christ will do, because they know Him. Christ is coming and he will fulfill His promises, but we must wait and persevere. This waiting for fulfillment is what makes hoping difficult and critical.

This is what biblical Hope looks like:

“For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience” (Romans 8:24-25).

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to His great mercy, He has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead” (1 Peter 1:3).

So hope sustains us now with the promise of what will be. We can get through the darkness because our hope in Christ is like a lighthouse that guides us home. So we have certainty for the future because we know what God has promised and have confidence because of what He has already done for us.

What remains uncertain is us. This is why we seek to repent and renew each Lent. Hope is a virtue that needs to be strengthened with exercise. It is a habit of seeing life through the eternal perspective, certain that “the light shines in the darkness and the darkness will have no victory” (John 1).

So it isn’t that we have nothing to worry about, but that we recognize Christ as victorious, and us with Him; therefore we know darkness doesn’t have the last word. And the more we learn to live like that, the more we radiate Christ’s light and are able to draw others with us. For this Christ came: to be lifted up so all might see His light.

Let us pray as we come towards the end of Lent and the celebrations of Holy Week that we live “in the sure and certain hope of the Resurrection to eternal life through our Lord Jesus Christ.”

So as Padre Pio says, “Pray, Hope, and don’t Worry!”


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