Psalms 111:1-2, 4-5, 9-10
Seize the Hope
Much use of the word “hope” in everyday parlance portrays a sense of vagueness or weakness. “Well, I hope I passed that exam.” “I don’t know if she’ll come to visit, but I hope so.” Even when we use the term in a religious context, it tends to denote something that points to an uncertain, if very beautiful, possible future.
Not so, with the letter to the Hebrews. The author of the Letter encourages us to “seize the hope which is placed before us.” The next sentence describes hope as “a sure and firm anchor.” This is certainly not something vague, uncertain or merely possible. Hope is something you grab onto! How can hope be so firm? How can hope be that near?
In the years following the Second Vatican Council, Cardinal Suenens of Belgium was interviewed by a journalist who asked him the question, “Why are you a man of hope?” His answer centered on the words, “I am a man of hope because I believe in the Holy Spirit.” Hope is not the product of our optimism, or wishful thinking; it is a gift of the Holy Spirit. St. Paul’s Letter to the Romans states this graphically: “Hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us” (Romans 5,5). This kind of hope is real—so real it’s something we can hold on to. It is the fruit of the Holy Spirit dwelling within us.
The Letter to the Hebrews pushes us and insists: “Seize the
hope.” Grab onto it; hope is a gift of God within you.
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