We have this hope as an anchor for the soul.Hebrews 6:19
What is Hope?
Recently, I’ve been pondering what it means to hope. I understand that faith and hope are completely different, but they seem so similar at a glance. After researching it in the Catechism and reading a few articles, I learned that while faith is assurance in things unseen, hope is desiring for something and expecting to receive it.
Hope is the virtue that allows us to desire salvation and the Kingdom of Heaven. With the help of the Holy Spirit, we hope that we’ll enter God’s Kingdom when our time on earth is complete. We don’t expect that we’ll go to Heaven, but because Jesus saved us from our sins, we’re certain that we’ll be with Him forever as long as we spend our lives in a way that prepares us for this Heavenly eternity.
Waiting in Hope for Jesus
We hear at Mass that we “wait in joyful hope for the coming of our Savior, Jesus Christ.” This phrase reminds me so much of Advent, the beautiful season that we began yesterday. The people of Israel were waiting in hope for the Messiah, and now we wait in hope for His Second Coming and the Kingdom of Heaven. This liturgical season isn’t only about preparing for Christmas. It also serves to remind us that we’re going to die. As grim as it sounds, our world and our lives will end, and we’ll be in either Heaven or Hell forever. While we prepare for December 25, we should also prepare for the unknown date of our death. We know when we’ll celebrate the Nativity of our Lord, but we don’t know when He’s going to come for us. Because of this, we should constantly make ourselves ready to meet Him.
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Preparing While We Wait
Especially during Advent, we don’t simply wait for Jesus. Instead of idleness, we fill our time of waiting with ways of preparing ourselves for Him. While we wait and prepare, we do so with hope. With confidence, we expect Jesus will come for us, and in our waiting, we pray, receive the Sacraments, do penance, and do whatever we can to make ourselves ready for Him.
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