This first week of Advent we focus on the virtue of Hope. Hope is belief in the goodness of others and of good things to come. Most people have periods of hopelessness, born of bad decisions by ourselves or others, financial or relationship difficulties, or just a feeling that things won’t get better. This lack of hope is most dangerous, and can lead to a despair that may paralyze a person, and at it’s worst lead to harmful actions.
In many ways, the path out of this hopelessness is to bring hope to others. By focusing on the needs of others in our actions each day, we see that we can effect a positive change in the life of another. In so doing, we forget for a few moments, our darkness. In bringing light to someone else, the light shines on us as well. “In giving, we receive” takes on real meaning. This is not to take lightly the struggles of those who are depressed and lonely, but in sharing and serving others, we take the spotlight off of ourselves, which in itself shifts our vision to the Christ in the other, reflecting back the vision of Christ in ourselves.
We have a dignity and worth given and nurtured in Christ and the sacraments. Hope is the Gospel message, bred of Love born in manger, who is the Incarnate Son of God. We share in the Divinity of Christ, who came to share in our Humanity. Reach out to serve someone today, and you may just be healed in the process.