“'The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.'” Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him. He began by saying to them, 'Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.'”
Hope is an essential quality for Christians. Because we know, although we do not always feel it, that God is near, our faith calls us to be full of hope. Assured by Jesus that he has come to fulfill God's dream for his people and that he will always accompany his people through his Spirit, we live surrounded by God's promise.
A priest friend of mine insisted that every difficulty we face in life is at the same time an opportunity, and he lived his conviction. Bill had the ability to see every glass as half full. Although a priest in a place where he could have lived a comfortable life, he was deeply involved in Haiti, a country that has been struggling forever, but Bill never focused on the poverty of the people, but on their faith. He also had no doubt that the struggles of the church in the 21st century were simply a prelude to a powerful renewal that the Holy Spirit was engineering.
People like Bill challenge us to believe and hope, no matter how difficult the circumstances of our life. Taking the natural gifts of a positive personality, he wove them into his faith life. As a pastor he not only gently accompanied the poor, he encouraged people of means to share their bounty with others. Bill's witness was contagious, and whenever I find myself moving into a dark place, I think of him and remember to hope in the God who lives within and among us as a ground upon which to stand and dream.
Today, speak hopefully to someone struggling in life.
What helps you to keep hope alive when you face difficult problems?