All virtuous human conduct is really hope in action. Our actions engender hope, hope for us and for others but at the same time it is the “great hope” based on God’s promises that gives us courage and directs our action in good times and bad.
Christian hope is not a refuge against suffering. We can try to limit suffering, to fight against it, but we cannot eliminate it. The virtue of hope is a power which sustains us to look difficulties in the face, to handle them and even to allow God to use them for our good. When every human security is taken away, we are called to place our trust in God alone (e.g. Abraham — Romans 4: 18-25) This kind of hope is strong and unshakeable because it is rooted in the triumph of the risen Christ.
As Blessed John Paul II often said: “Do not be afraid. Let us go forward in hope.”
“Risen and living Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the Eternal Father, you are the source of true hope for the church and for humanity. In this life and in the life to come You are among us “the hope of glory”.
Your love conquers fear. Your light triumphs over darkness and evil. Suffering and death do not have the final word because you, Lord, are the “First and Last and Living One”.
You are the Lamb once slain yet standing at the right hand of the Father. Once you were dead, yet you live forever. Truly, you are our hope.”
Questions for Reflection:
- How can we be hope in action?
- How can we go forward in hope?
- What is your reaction to “hope is not a refuge against suffering?”