Three Reasons For Hope

It’s a conundrum. As citizens and conscientious Catholics, we want to (and should) keep informed of current events. That’s not easy. When our news overflow with examples of immorality, religious persecution, heinous crimes and devastation, we can feel discouraged, fearful, and even hopeless. But if we lose hope, we lose everything. Hope leads to apathy, and apathy leads to inactivity. Inactive Christians become monuments – they display nice words about God, but don’t carry those words into the world around them. We must not become monuments by succumbing to hopelessness. It’s human nature to feel overwhelmed from time to time, but it’s God’s nature to uphold you in his grace. Never forget that. No matter how bad things look from your point of view, God sees the world from an entirely different perspective. In that respect, there are three things to remember when you’re feeling hopeless. 1. God will not desert you. Oh, it may feel like it at times, but it hasn’t and isn’t going to happen, no matter what. True, Jesus instructed us to live and speak his message in the world, which means being a part of the world rather than hiding away from it. However, he also promised that he’d go with us. “Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age.” (Mt 28-19-20) Our Lord will not abandon you, no matter how tough things get – until the end of time. 2. You are a child of God. You received that gift at your Baptism, when you were incorporated into Christ, configured to him, and sealed with an indelible spiritual mark (character) of belonging to Christ. It’s a mark that can never be removed (see the Catechism of the Catholic Church, no. 1272). You’re loved and cherished by God beyond your human comprehension.  Jesus has assured us of that. “Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground without your Father’s will. But even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.” (Mt 10-29-31) Fear not, therefore, Jesus tells us. 3. God has overcome the world. The headlines may scream mayhem, but that doesn’t mean God’s lost his grip on you. He never turns his back on you, even when you turn your back on him. What’s more, there is no power greater than his. “I have said this to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” (Jn 16:33) Even in the worst of tribulations, you have reason to be at peace in our Lord. Yes, pay attention to those worrisome headlines, but don’t become obsessed by them and slide into hopelessness. There may be reason for concern, but there is always a reason for hope. [From Marge Fenelon, USA – Picture: “Angel of Hope” by Carlos Schwabe]


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