Today's readings are about the role of hope in our lives.

Sunday. 10/6/13

Three words that the Church is fond of rattling off are faith, hope, and charity. I guess they are the three things we need most to make a success of life.

We know that we would have nothing if we lost our faith. And we know we won’t get into heaven if we haven’t practiced charity, but where does hope come in?

Hope comes in when we can’t carry on by ourselves, and we need to reach out to God for help.

The first reading comes from 600 B.C. when a mighty army was closing in on Jerusalem. This citizen, having put his trust in God, confidently announced that hoping in God he would not be disappointed.

Sometimes we are meant to be God's agents in giving hope to others. Sixty years ago I set up a parish in a war ravaged Korea, and I had many desperate people coming to my door. I had no government funds to turn my rectory into a refugee camp. The thing is, those people had somehow been getting along day after day; but then they came on a day when they lost hope, and they came to my door. Now,

I couldn’t give them even the minimum in food and lodgings they needed, but I could offer them a little jar of peanut butter or a Lucky Strike; and it would be enough to assure them they were not alone in the world. It would give them enough hope to carry on.

In the Second Reading, Paul was answering a letter from Timothy who didn’t’ feel strong enough to carry on at the Church at Ephesus that Paul had assigned to him. Paul reminded Timothy of how the Church had laid hands on both of them.. He insisted, “God did not give us a spirit of cowardice, but rather of power, and love and self-control.”

Paul wrote, "In hope we are saved. Now, hope that sees for itself is not hope."  That reminds me of a big nephew of mine. He had a little daughter named Maddy. She's get on top of the dresser, waiting for him to come in to the room; and before he'd even see her, she'd leap, shouting "Catch!" Hope is not hope if it lacks that element of blind trust.

We all have enough zip to struggle through our days, but now and again we lose hope; and at those times we need a little bit of attention that will restore our hope.


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