I have neglected my reading of the reflections on St. Paul. Thought today I would begin again and try to be more diligent. Only time will tell. The message of hope in this reflection is one I feel compelled to share because, although, every year this season brings us most vividly to the Hope we all have in a bright future, this year seems to demand Hope be a part of who we are. It is imperative the we manifest this hope in all we do and say and live. Please "listen" to Sister Mary Thomas Noble, O.P. from Praying With Saint Paul.
I find as I reflect on this that my hope and expectation are pretty limited. Perhaps I fear that my hopeful expectations will not be realized and disappointment will insue. The lesson for me is to have high expectations. If the results seem less, they are better than none at all and if they are greater than hope for what joy I can experience. I should be hope-filled, not just hopeful.O Blessed Hope!***"We await the blessed hope, the appearance of the glory of
the great God and of our savior Jesus Crist, who gave himself
for us to deliver us from all lawlessness and to cleanse for
himself a people as his own, eager to do what is good."(Ti 2: 13-14)***What part does hope play in my life? Do I hope mainly for things or for people? Or do I hope for events? As a child I once hoped for a rubber ball with all my heart. It was exactlly the size I wanted and had swirls of colors on it, all the right colors. I showed it to my mother in the store. It cost twenty-five cents. She pointed out to me several bigger, better balls, but I couln't have cared less. I knew what I wanted. No other ball would do. When I tore the wrappings off the little rubber ball on the morning of my eighth birthday and tossed them on the breadfast table, I know an unadulterated and absolute content such as I have rarely experienced since I dashed outdoors with my sister before school and threw it, threw it, threw it back and forth across our front lawn in a kind of ecstasy. Hope fulfilled! Such a small hope, just my size. God would like to stretch our longing hearts to hold much more, even himself. Will we let him do it? "We await the blessed hope..." Do we? "...the appearance of the glory of the great God, and of our Savior Jesus Christ..." How high do we set our sights? Do we have hopes to match God's hopes for us? His is a radiant hope. There is glory ahead for us, there is deliverance, there is an indescribable purity to be achieved only through his blood. Each one of us would be totally, uniquely his, were he to have his hopes fulfilled. Our sights would be set on doing "what is good" beyond all our wildest imaginings, empowered as we should be as "his people." His hopes for us will lift us to the blessed vision of himself. Where he will hold us, and we shall not fall.***O God, stretch my heart wide with blessed hope, to hold the all that you would give me--your very self!
Thanks be to God!