January 17, 2015
Saturday of week 1 in Ordinary Time
Click here for the complete text of today’s readings
Jesus Gives Daily Hope
Let us confidently approach.
Hope is not just a comfort. Hope is what gets us going.
Without hope, there is no point in getting out of bed in the morning. We have to look forward to something.
And before we decide to do anything, we have to judge it is possible. In human choices, “will do” comes after “can do.”
Jesus gives us a daily reason for getting out of bed. It’s a hope that lasts all day. Every day. Christians live in the calm excitement of enduring anticipation.
What do we hope for? That depends on the person and the day.
When Jesus was passing by the customs post, he saw Levi sitting there, collecting taxes. Jesus said to him, “Follow me.” And he “got up and followed Jesus.” Why?
He obviously thought Jesus was offering him a more exciting life. Or a more interesting one.
Or maybe he felt ashamed of what he was doing, collecting taxes for a colonial government.
Or maybe it was love. Or faith. He may have heard Jesus speak and believed he was the Messiah. He may have been drawn to his person. Maybe he wanted relationship. Whatever it was, unless he had hope of finding it, he wouldn't have got out of his chair.
Whatever any one of us wants out of life, if it is deep and lasting enough, Jesus gives us hope of finding it.
So test your desires. Not the superficial ones. Not the passing ones that won’t matter to you a hundred years from now. Get down to the real ones. What are you living for? What do you want to live for? Is there a better alternative? Is it actually achievable? What lets you hope you can have it?
Enter Jesus. He is looking at you through your window.
It might be a narrow window or one open to the whole horizon of life. Whichever it is, he fills it. Whatever you were hoping to see, you will see it in the face of Jesus.
If it isn't obvious, read the captions. What Jesus offers is listed in his words.
“The word of God is living and effective… able to discern reflections and thoughts of the heart.” God’s word can show you what you really desire revealed in the face of Jesus.
You will also see in his face hope of achieving it: Hebrews (5:14-16) says that in Jesus “we don’t have a priest who is out of touch with our reality. He’s been through weakness and testing, experienced it all—all but the sin. So let’s walk right up to him and get what he is so ready to give. Take the mercy. Accept the help” (translation from The Message Bible, Catholic/Ecumenical Edition, Acta Publications 2013).
Ask yourself a question fundamental to human life: Do I choose to draw daily hope from Jesus?
Pray frequently: “Your words, Lord, are Spirit and life.”
Practice: Whatever you are doing, ask yourself what you are hoping for.
Discuss: What gives you hope for fulfillment in life? Do I choose to draw daily hope from Jesus?