Just three weeks ago on the first Sunday of Advent, Pope Benedict issued his encyclical Spe Salve (Hope of Salvation). “Hope” for most people means a desire for something good. It is often based on chance; that is, while there is a reasonable expectation that the desired good thing could happen, it may not happen. The hope of which the Holy Father writes is the theological virtue of hope. It, like faith and charity, is a supernatural gift of God. The virtue of hope enables us to firmly trust that God will give us eternal life and all the means necessary to obtain it. The Pope wrote:
...it consists in the knowledge of God, in the discovery of his heart as a good and merciful Father...
With his death on the cross and his resurrection (Jesus) has revealed to us his countenance, the countenance of a God so great in love as to communicate to us an indestructible hope, a hope that not even death can crack, because the life of those who entrust themselves to this Father always opens onto the perspective of eternal beatitude.
Because his Passion and Death on the Cross, we know not only that has Jesus opened the Kingdom of Heaven for us, but also that He gives each of us more than we need in order to get to Heaven. Without this faith, there is hopelessness. Living a life in which one hopes for better times or a nicer world is existing without hope. Jesus Christ gives us the true meaning of life. He gives us hope.
In just two days we will commemorate His birth. May each of us realize that He is the greatest gift of all—a Gift beyond imagining! May we live always in hope, and may more of our brothers and sisters do so too. May we all have the joy of hope.