A word caught my attention yesterday, Pentecost Sunday, in the reading from Romans.
St. Paul writes to the Christians in Rome: "For in hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what is seen? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience (Romans 8. 24,25)."
In Dante's medieval work, The Inferno, the words, "Abandon all hope you who enter here," are posted above the entrance to Hell. Without hope, to be sure, we're plunged into Hell.
But hope enables us to carry on despite the odds, the evidence, the grim realities and forecasts of even grimer things to come--be it the economy, our health and well-being or that of our family members, the future of our country and the world.
To hopelessness, God says hope. (God also says, you don't know enough to despair. )
Hope that God is in charge, even when it looks as if chaos is. Hope that God provides, even when you're down to your last $10 in the bank. Hope that a light will be left on in the darkness of this world. Hope that the grave is not the end, but only the beginning of new life.
I'm hanging onto hope and onto God and by my hope in God, the Source of all hope, God's hanging onto me.