Human life, in many cases, seems to be an undulating movement, a falling apart, a pulling together, a gloomy night, and then a sunny day. And in our own lives, going away from God and coming back to God.
Yesterday, I talked to a young man who felt shattered by the denial of love and the probable separation and divorce he may have to go through withinthe short period of his married life. His many hopes have been shattered or deferred. The hope of a long, happy married life, the hope of saying "I am sorry," the hope of saying "I love you," the hope of having a chance to say, "Please forgive me." Many of us can surely relate to one, or more, of these experiences of hope. But there is good news!
We have Jesus on our side. He knows what it is to experience pain and loss. He is our sure hope. We have seen Jesus weeping over the death of his friend Lazarus. In today’s Gospel, Jesus weeps over Jerusalem for the failure of the Jews to recognize the saving power of God in their midst. In the first reading from Revelation, St. John weeps over the sealed scroll but is given hope. Hope in Christ, who has power over sin and death, pain and loss.
Like St. John, we too can find hope. St. Paul told the early Christians that the Scriptures were written to give us hope (Romans 15:4-13) and that hope is given through grace (2 Thessalonians 2:16). Thomas Merton explained, "This hope is the confidence which He creates in our souls as secret evidence that He has taken possession of us." This hope can help us rise above our pain and loss.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church says, “Hope is the ‘sure and steadfast anchor of the soul... that enters … where Jesus has gone as a forerunner on our behalf.’ Hope is also a weapon that protects us in the struggle for salvation: ‘Let us… put on the breastplate of faith and charity, and for a helmet the hope of salvation.’ Hope affords us joy even under trial: ‘Rejoice in your hope, be patient in tribulation’” (CCC 1820).
Turning to God in prayer can give us hope and help us transform our sorrow into joy.
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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.