If you cannot find hope-be hope for someone else. In doing that, you have found hope and you are also walking in faith. This is the hope of God and in living the Christian message through your life, deeds, and words. This last year has provided challenges to everyone I know, myself included. It would be the easiest thing possible to lose hope. We are challenged in this through the scriptures to have Hope when all hope seems lost because that is FAITH. Faith is not the hope that things will turn out as we want, but the desire and understanding that all things be as God our Father would have them. We say it at every Mass at our Saviors’ command: THY WILL BE DONE ON EARTH AS IT IS IN HEAVEN. (Matthew 6:10)
Part of His will is that we have this hope and that we be this hope for the people around us, dare I say even the world.
I was teaching a class and my pupils were a group of incarcerated folks. The exercise in the class was that I put their names in a bucket and drew two at random. They then had to come up in front of everyone, sit across from each other, and say a thing that they would give the other person. After the first two, who knew each other, the second two, who did not know each other, said, “This would be easier if I knew the person.” This was the teachable moment I was looking for. It is easier to give hope to the people we know sometimes, but as Christians we aren’t called to just that. We are called to reach out into the dark cold needy world and be the Hope, empowered by the Holy Spirit. "Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you. This is the essence of all that is taught in the law and the prophets.” (Matthew 7:12) That is the key to unlock what we should or could do for those we do not know, how to give them hope, in faith.
We aren’t called to give hope just to our family and friends. We are called into the darkness, to the strangers, to the lonely, to the widowed, to the addicted, to the lost, to the__________. (Fill in the blank with those people your eyes see that perhaps no one else does.) If you can’t figure out what to do then do for them what you’d want if you were in their situation. That is faith, hope, and action, and that is the charge of everyone who would call themselves a Christian.
Have more than joy this season of Christmas, have hope.
Here I am, Lord, send me!