In this week’s second reading St. Paul addresses the Ephesians. This sentence is contained in it: “There is one Body, one Spirit, just as you were all called into one and the same hope when you were called.” It caught my attention because early in the week a parishioner recommended a book on hope that she felt explained the virtue very well and would be of great help, especially to people who may be finding it difficult in our present circumstances. The book, “The Virtue of Hope” is written by Fr Philip Bochanski, who says that he was inspired to write it after reading and reflecting on the encyclical of Pope Benedict XVI on hope. Here is a short passage from the book:
“The great message of Hope comes to us from the Christian faith in the Incarnation of the Word of God: that we never walk the way alone, not even the way of suffering. The Incarnation, the truth that God has come in the flesh, that the Son of God has a true human nature, reassures us that Jesus Christ knows exactly who we are, how we feel, what we need, and even what we suffer. The Letter to the Hebrews says that he can ‘sympathize with our weaknesses’ because he ‘has similarly been tested in every way, yet without sin’ (Heb 4: 15). In a word, he truly knows what it is to be like us.”
It was great to be directed to an up to date, excellent book on the topic of hope. It is the virtue that tends to trail behind faith and love in the minds of theologians.