From the Rector, Twenty-Eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time, 10/15/23

Hope

1817 Hope is the theological virtue by which we desire the kingdom of heaven and
eternal life as our happiness, placing our trust in Christ’s promises and relying not on
our own strength, but on the help of the grace of the Holy Spirit.
1818 The virtue of hope responds to the aspiration to happiness which God has placed
in the heart of every man; it takes up the hopes that inspire men’s activities and purifies
them so as to order them to the Kingdom of heaven; it keeps man from discouragement;
it sustains him during times of abandonment; it opens up his heart in expectation of
eternal beatitude. Buoyed up by hope, he is preserved from selfishness and led to the
happiness that flows from charity.
1820 Christian hope unfolds from the beginning of Jesus’ preaching in the proclamation
of the beatitudes. The beatitudes raise our hope toward heaven as the new Promised
Land; they trace the path that leads through the trials that await the disciples of Jesus.
But through the merits of Jesus Christ and of his Passion, God keeps us in the “hope
that does not disappoint.” Hope is the “sure and steadfast anchor of the soul…that
enters…where Jesus has gone as a forerunner on our behalf.” Hope is also a weapon
that protects us in the struggle of salvation: “Let us . . . put on the breastplate of faith
and charity, and for a helmet the hope of salvation.” It affords us joy even under trial:
“Rejoice in your hope, be patient in tribulation.” Hope is expressed and nourished in
prayer, especially in the Our Father, the summary of everything that hope leads us to
desire.
1821 We can therefore hope in the glory of heaven promised by God to those who love
him and do his will. In every circumstance, each one of us should hope, with the grace
of God, to persevere “to the end” and to obtain the joy of heaven, as God’s eternal
reward for the good works accomplished with the grace of Christ. In hope, the Church
prays for “all men to be saved.” She longs to be united with Christ, her Bridegroom, in
the glory of heaven:
Hope, O my soul, hope. You know neither the day nor the hour. Watch carefully,
for everything passes quickly, even though your impatience makes doubtful what
is certain, and turns a very short time into a long one. Dream that the more you
struggle, the more you prove the love that you bear your God, and the more you
will rejoice one day with your Beloved, in a happiness and rapture that can never
end.

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