As we breathed out 2020 and breathed in 2021, we were hoping that this year would be better. But, with the second wave of the pandemic, many of us are feeling a sense of loss and distress. Some of us may be sick or have someone close to us suffering from Covid-19; some of us may have even lost a family member or a dear friend recently; some of us may be worried about commencement ceremonies or other celebrations...
Many hopes have been shattered or deferred. The hope of a long life, the hope of saying "I am sorry," the hope of saying "I love you," the hope of a last chance to say "Goodbye." We were hoping, and many of us can relate to these experiences.
But there is good news! We have Jesus on our side.
Jesus knows what it is to experience pain and loss. He is our sure hope. He says, "Do not let your hearts be troubled, have faith." Jesus gives us this hope through grace (2 Thess. 2:16). This hope unites us with the divine; it is based on His pledge to us.
"This hope is the confidence which He creates in our souls as secret evidence that He has taken possession of us." (Thomas Merton).
This hope can help us rise above our pain and loss. It can "fill [us] with all joy and peace . . ., so that [we] may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit" (Heb. 11:13).
This hope opens the way to "eternal comfort and good hope" (2 Thess. 2:16). We should accept this hope and "encourage one another with these words," as St. Paul told the Christians in Thessalonica. (2 Thess. 2:16).
Helen Keller said, "nothing can be done without hope and confidence."
In spite of the pandemic, many families I know are finding new ways of being a hopeful family by connecting with each other, serving each other, and spending more time in prayer, transforming sadness into hope, and even joy.
Many individuals and families take time to call a neighbor or friend experiencing loss by dropping off meals for the elderly, celebrating on Zoom, joining the Rosary and Mass on Facebook. By these acts of kindness and charity, they help reawaken hope in the hearts of their neighbors and friends.
As Christians, we are called to live in the glory of Christ's Resurrection and to look forward to our own with hope! We are not people of Good Friday only, but, even more, of Resurrection Sunday, a people with hope in abundance to share with others.
To view Rosary prayer and Mass streaming live,please visit our Facebook pageat 11:30 am EST, Monday – Friday. Please invite your loved ones to join us too! (You don't need a Facebook account to view.)
About Father Pinto Paul, C.S.C.
Father Pinto Paul C.S.C., ordained a priest in the Congregation of Holy Cross in 1999, worked with tribal populations in northeast India as a missionary for ten years. In 2010 he came to the US for further studies. While working as a campus minister at Stonehill College, he assisted pastors in local parishes, led seminars and workshops for teachers and students in the US and earned a master’s degree in Educational Administration from Boston College and a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership from Lesley University, Cambridge. He is currently working as the International Director of the Boston-based Holy Cross Family Ministries with missions in 17 countries.