Today’s Readings offer us great hope and a great challenge.
Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines Hope as: “To cherish a desire with anticipation; to expect with confidence.”
Hope is foundational to our Christian lives. In the depths of our heart and soul, God has placed the seeds of hope. As Christians, our hope runs deep; we not only have our hopes for today and tomorrow, but we should also desire with anticipation, expect with confidence, the joy of one day being in heaven.
All of the things we hope for in our lives here and now should be aligned with our ultimate hope: eternal life and happiness in heaven. Our hope is in the Lord, who promises us eternal life. As today’s Reading’s remind us, the world in its present form will pass away; but for those who love God and do His will, the reward will be great in heaven.
Having this eternal perspective, this hope, can lift us up from discouragement; sustain us during times of abandonment; and open our hearts to the expectation of eternal blessings (See Catechism of the Catholic Church par. 1817-1821). Throughout the New Testament, Jesus says “Do not worry,” “Do not be afraid”; what we worry about and fear today will not seem so overwhelming if we place hope in God, and look at our lives from this eternal perspective.
This eternal perspective should also influence how we live our lives: not just living for ourselves, building our own kingdom on earth, but for others, building up the Kingdom of God and investing in our eternal future. This is the challenge presented in today’s readings.
The Kingdom of God belongs to those who are satisfied with what they have, and recognize all that they have as a gift from the Lord. Blessed are those who live simply; those who have hearts full of compassion and reach out to those in need; those who are generous with their time, talent, and possessions. The Kingdom of God belongs to those who live not for themselves, but by the love of Christ, live for others.
Today, place your hope in God. Live your life with eternal perspective. Keep looking up, and reaching out. Then rejoice and leap for joy, for your reward will be great in heaven!
- Tricia Lothschutz