Hope, Beyond Wishful Thinking | Third Week of Lent - Saint John's Seminary

Summer Course Registration for the MAM/MTS Degree Programs will open on April 3, 2023

Hope, Beyond Wishful Thinking | Third Week of Lent

March 11, 2023

How often do we hope that something happens? We hope for good weather for an activity, we hope for a successful outcome to our project, we hope our team wins the big game. These hopes are really nothing more than wishful thinking, our thoughts won’t make them so. We don’t have control over the weather; if we’ve done the work our project should be successful; and while our team may have practiced hard to prepare for the game, we know that the opponents have practiced hard as well.

In the second reading this Sunday, Rom 5:1-2, 5-8, Paul tells us of a different kind of hope. Instead of just wishful thinking, Paul offers us hope through the revelation that God keeps his promises. We have the joyful knowledge, not just the wishful thinking, that we will one day meet God face to face. We are able to look forward with confident expectation. In fact, Paul invites us to “boast in the hope of the Glory of God.” We understand that his meaning here isn’t to be braggadocios, but rather to rejoice in the hope God offers us. The hope, the promise, of a life with God.

Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access [by faith] to this grace in which we stand, and we boast in hope of the glory of God. ... and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out into our hearts through the holy Spirit that has been given to us. For Christ, while we were still helpless, yet died at the appointed time for the ungodly. Indeed, only with difficulty does one die for a just person, though perhaps for a good person one might even find courage to die.
Rom 5:1-2, 5-8

God proved his love for us through the death of his Son on the cross. We experience that love now, poured into our hearts, through the gift of the Holy Spirit.

The season of Lent is about conversion, turning our lives more completely over to Christ and his way of life. The love that has been poured into our hearts, together with the hope that we will have a life with God, gives us the strength we need to be transformed. We are given the opportunity to truly be Christ in this world. The spiritual disciplines of Lent, prayer, fasting, and almsgiving will help us to do that. Prayer gives space in our life for God. Fasting reminds us to be more like Christ. And almsgiving helps us to focus on the needs of others. By practicing these disciplines we live out the hope that God offers us, the promise that we know we will be one with God in heaven, while we are here on earth.

By: Maribeth Scott, MAM Student