The Messiah

7 Dec

O come, divine Messiah! The world in silence waits the day
When hope shall sing its triumph, And sadness flee away.

St. Paul wrote to the Church in Rome, “Hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.” (Rom 5:5) That passage is often used at the time of funerals because it speaks to the mourners about the ultimate hope of resurrection.

However, Paul was speaking about a hope that was more than a dream of the future. Paul wrote to his communities about hope in order that they might do something, that they might live the faith.

If you are significantly overweight and hope that some day you might be thinner but never go on a diet or begin exercising, you will remain where you are, if not much worse. If you cannot drive a car and hope one day to get a driver’s license but never take lessons, you will never have your license. If you want to be a basketball star but never spend a moment practicing, you will never play on a team.
Hope is not something that is neutral. Hope is something that is active. For St. Augustine, hope was the driving force for change.

Advent is a season of hope. It is a season of watchful expectation. If we are to enter into the season as appropriately as possible, we will engage ourselves in the world around us. We will not only wait to celebrate the birth of Jesus, we will live as His faithful witnesses each day.

St. Paul was right. Hope does not disappoint unless we fail to use the gifts that have been poured into our lives by the Holy Spirit. If we use those gifts, hope will spur us onward. It will give us all that we need to model the faith for others. If we live as people of hope, we will do all that we can to change the world. If we become a people of pure hope, we will instill hope in others.

FAITH ACTION: Spend some time in silence today reflecting upon the hope and promise that the Messiah brings to your life.