We hope for many things: passing an exam, finding our true love, securing sustainable work, or surviving an illness. We often seek to have God be a part of what we hope for and desire, almost trying to convince Him that our agenda is what is ultimately important. While our particular hopes may appear to be what needs to be achieved in order for us to be happy, they really are not. Our lesser, more personal hopes can distract us from true hope.
When God became a human being, a powerful message was sent: all that is authentically human is found in the divine. As the human Jesus lived and died in order to show us that he truly is the universal Christ, we have to keep our sight focused on our eternal truth and destiny, and who we truly are. We have to be careful when we allow our earthly concerns to distract us. True hope is found when we place our trust in Christ’s promises and don’t rely on our own strength. True hope focuses on striving toward the fulfillment of God’s promises and not simply on achieving what we think we need in this life. Hope always travels with two friends — faith and love. In this trio of virtues, we find the very presence of God born in every human being. These are God’s greatest gifts, and they lead us to the fullness of His presence.
As with faith and love, we cannot see hope with just our human eyes. We don’t carry this virtue within us to use solely for our own personal agenda. Hope is not something that simply comes with the human package. As with faith and love, hope is a gift that is given to us to draw us closer to our eternal truth. Faith, hope, and love are signs that there is something far greater going on in us and something greater to persevere in obtaining. The true divine gift of hope is what will endure any hardship we encounter, especially those that will come from authentically living the Gospel. With all that is happening in our lives, in our church, and in our world, what is the reason for our hope? Ask God for the fortitude to see His eternal gift as the reason we get up in the morning and do the things we do.