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Developing an Evangelical Heart Cover Image

Hope

We ought not to become discouraged or cease to witness even when we are called to manifest our faith in an environment that is hostile or indifferent… For we know that we are not proclaiming a human truth, but the ‘word of God,’ which has an intrinsic and mysterious power of its own (cf. Rom 1:16)
— Blesses John Paul II,
Redemptoris Missio

 What is Hope?

  • Hope is faith directed to the future, in response to God’s initiative
  • Christian hope is certain: “in the sure and certain hope of the Resurrection”. God’s promises will come true; there is no if, and, or but about it. For God is Truth itself. “God said it, I believe it, and that settles it.”
  • "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11)
     

Hope is confidence in God

  • Nothing necessary will be lacking to us if we trust in him and if we hope for all things from him. We have the promise of God himself: “Look at the birds in the sky… think of the flowers growing in the fields… will he not much more look after you? (Matt 6:26-30)
  • God is with you as you face trials. You can place your trust in him.
     

Relying on Christ for Strength

  • Hope is not a naïve natural optimism. In fact, one can be deeply pessimistic about things and still have strong theological hope, because theological hope is hope in God. We trust in His providence, that in some way He will bring good from all things for those who love Him.
  • God always prevents evil from becoming the worst. Even the bad things He allows (because we chose them in freedom), He only allows because he will bring a greater good from them.
  • Theological hope is a power that enables us to look beyond the turmoil of this shipwrecked and fallen world, into the merciful and providential heart of God. Still we must choose to act, to stand on God’s goodness, truthfulness, & promises, despite our natural confusion & pain.
  • In evangelization, as we hope for ourselves and others, we tap into God’s wellspring of love and mercy
  • “Those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” (Isaiah 40:31)

Talk given by Fr. Bob Bedard in 2006 - We Become a People of Hope

The theme 'Developing an Evangelical Heart' was inspired by the Companions of the Cross course on Evangelization.