Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Christian Hope as Faith in the Divine Sovereignty of Sacrificial Love

"As Christ is past, present and future, so also is the Church as it rejoices in the anticipation of the goal. 'It does not yet appear what we shall be, but we know that we shall see him as he is.' Thus the Church lives in hope, and Christian hope rests not upon signs that things seem to be going well, but upon its faith in the divine sovereignty of sacrificial love. So we live in hope both of the goal of heaven and of the coming of the Kingdom of God in this world, and hope is stirred by the presence of the Holy Spirit who is in the Pauline teaching both the first fruits of the heavenly harvest and the promise of the heavenly treasure. So sharing in the grief of Jesus, the Church may also share in his joy. There is the joy of living in the awareness of another world, as we look to the things that are unseen. There is joy too in the present experience of the transfiguring of suffering .... When our grief becomes not ours alone but a grief shared with Jesus, then the joy of Jesus becomes ours."

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