Job 17:15

Brothers and Sisters,

Saint John Paul the Great wrote his exhortation Familiaris Consortio to encourage families to be strongly and bravely faithful Catholics.  He writes “the new culture now emerging must be evangelized in depth” (FC 08).  This foundational statement is addressed to parents as a recognition that the culture around the world (and specifically in Western countries) will not evangelize your children for you.  Rather parents, says the pope need to make strong and active efforts to raise their children to know, love, and serve Almighty God in His holy Church.

Some – at the time and even now – criticize the Holy Father for this line, suggesting that his words seem to cast doubt on the goodness of the world.  Interestingly enough, Pope John Paul II wrote this specifically to recognize the holiness that can be grown in every Christian home.  Yes, the world culture does not support holiness of life and purity of heart.  However, parents schooled in grace through Mass, confession, and prayer can grow that same love of the Church.

So, while the world may seem dark, the Christian life is full of hope.  Unfortunately, hope is the most misunderstood of all the virtues.  Hope is not a desperate wish for bad things to stop happening, hope is hiding behind the couch and shouting “I wish bad things would stop happening.”

Hope is, rather, living every moment in the sure and certain knowledge that Christ came, Christ will come again, and Christ is with us even now.  Saint Paul wrote this very truth in his Letter to the Hebrews saying “faith is the substance of things hoped for and the certainty of things unseen” Hebrews 11:1).

Hope, brothers and sisters, is knowing Christ is with us through the toughest of times and that the future, however challenging, is bright for Christians.

God be near,

Father Jeremy