Dear brothers and sisters,
Christmas is the season of hope. The season awakens in us the deepest desire of heart that life could be and should be better. We hope we will get what we want for Christmas; we hope the season will be filled with cheer; we hope that our families will get along with one another. We have hope, and yet we also have fears that maybe our hope is unfounded. It can be dangerous to hope, because hope unfulfilled makes the heart sick. Hope unfulfilled can be painful. So often, we manage expectations and disappointments. We feel like we should give up because nothing good happens. However, Christ didn’t come to lower our expectations, but to exceed them.
In this series, we will look at the importance of hope as a Christian virtue, and why hope doesn’t disappoint. Today, on the First Sunday of Advent, we are looking at hope as a way of acknowledging we are pilgrims on a journey who have not yet arrived. Hope points us towards the fact that we are not there yet, that life isn’t all it is supposed to be. This week, you are invited to first identify the deep desires of your heart, like getting your family together this Christmas, or overcoming loneliness and fear, or dealing with a major problem. Second, approach those specific desires with confidence. Change your thinking about whatever your desire is, and approach it positively in prayer, or in Confession. Third, think about what you can do according to that desire, and do it; and when you are challenged, don’t give up.