Advent is the season of hope. Hope may be seen as the product of faith and love. We joyfully expect the fulfillment of the Lord's promises because by faith we have "confident assurance concerning what we hope for" (Heb 11:1).
In God's plan, we are certain to receive the Lord's promises for which we hope. Yet this assurance does not make us hopeful unless we not only believe in the promises, but love the Promiser, Jesus. Then we will have hope, and "this hope will not leave us disappointed" (Rm 5:5). In fact, "they that hope in the Lord will renew their strength, they will soar as with eagles' wings; they will run and not grow weary, walk and not grow faint" (Is 40:31).
Not only is hope a product of faith and love, but hope itself produces renewed strength. "None who hope in Him shall fail in strength" (1 Mc 2:61). For example, engaged couples seem to have much more energy than married couples. They live in a time of hope which renews their strength. Also, if we have hope of heaven, our old age will be vigorous. We'll be sprinting for the finish line as we finish the race of the Christian life (2 Tm 4:6-7). Likewise, if we are living this Advent season of hope in Jesus' Christmas coming, we will not be drained by the Christmas activities, but refreshed and rested (Mt 11:28-30).
"They that hope in the Lord will renew their strength" (Is 40:31).
|Rescript: In accord with the Code of Canon Law, I hereby grant the Nihil Obstat ("Permission to Publish") for One Bread, One Body covering the period from December 1, 2006 through January 31, 2007.
†Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, June 13, 2006.