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Wednesday, February 20, 2002

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Jonah 3:1-10
Psalm 51
Luke 11:29-32

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i hope so...

"The people of Nineveh believed God." —Jonah 3:5

Although the Ninevites were an extremely wicked and perverted people, 120,000 of them converted in one day (Jon 3:4; 4:11). Their conversion is a sign that there's hope for everyone — even in the most impossible situations.

Even if you don't understand what the Lord is doing and He is not answering your prayers the way you want, in hope you "were saved. But hope is not hope if its object is seen" (Rm 8:24). Although you may have been walking through "the valley of the shadow of death" (Ps 23:4, KJV) for months or even years, "hope will not leave us disappointed, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit Who has been given to us" (Rm 5:5). If you have a life as tragic as Job's, Christ in you is your "Hope of glory" (Col 1:27). No matter if the devil has been accusing you day and night (see Rv 12:10) by telling you there is no hope for your marriage or family, never give up hope. Rather, "wait in joyful hope for the coming of our Savior, Jesus Christ" (from the prayer following the "Our Father" at Mass).

Henry David Thoreau wrote: "The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation." However, Jesus has died and risen to give a new birth unto hope (1 Pt 1:3) and "a future full of hope" (Jer 29:11). Only we who are baptized in Christ have reason to be hopeful.

Therefore, "should anyone ask you the reason for this hope of yours, be ever ready to reply" (1 Pt 3:15). Hope in God.

Prayer:  Father, I will "seize the hope which is placed before" me (Heb 6:18).

Promise:  "At the judgment, the citizens of Nineveh will rise along with the present generation, and they will condemn it. For at the preaching of Jonah they reformed, but you have a greater than Jonah here." —Lk 11:32

Praise:  Rocky, a tough athlete, hadn't set foot in a church for years. He attended a friend's wedding, and one of the songs moved him so deeply that he gave his life to the Lord on the spot.

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, August 18, 2001

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, August 25, 2001