Last fall, President Obama campaigned on the promises of "Hope" and "Change." Some people despairingly call President Obama, "The Messiah" in order to mock those who would seem to place the president on such a high pedestal. The irony is that the president invites this mocking when he champions himself as the cause for hope. We should not place our hope in any mortal man. Our hope needs to lay in Jesus.
Yeah, I know. That's always easy to say. Jesus is the answer. The thing is, "hope" is the second of the three theological virtues. The first being "faith" which I spoke about yesterday and the final being "love." The Catechism of the Catholic Church defines hope as "the theological virtue by which we desire the kingdom of heaven and eternal life as your happiness, placing our trust in Christ's promises and relying not on our own strength, but on the help of the grace of the Holy Spirit." (1817 CCC)
Hope responds to our desire for happiness. Hope "keeps man from discouragement; it sustains him during times of abandonment; it opens up his heart in expectation of eternal beatitude." (1818 CCC) In combination with the virtue of charity, it keeps us from being selfishness and leads us to happiness. It is through hope that we desire the success of our fellow man and take care of each other.
We have to be careful to place our hope in Jesus and not in man because it is "through the merits of Jesus Christ and his Passion that God keeps us in the 'hope that does not disappoint.'" The catechism continues and says that hope is the "weapon that protects us int he struggle of salvation . . . It affords us joy even under trail. . . and is expressed and nourished in prayer." (1820 CCC) None of these things can be given to us by any earthy king, president, or ruler.
Finally, the catechism says that "we can therefor hope in the glory of heaven promised by God to those who love him and do his will." (CCC 1921) There are many things we may desire on Earth but none of them equal what is waiting for us if we follow God's command and do his will.Don't place your hope in a man. I honestly am fearful when I see people idolizing President Obama. I'm not saying the people who mocking call him "Messiah" are correct. We are to trust and pray for our leaders. But the images I see of Obama everywhere praising him as the champion of hope frighten me. As for me, I will put my hope and faith in someone who is both human and divine. . . Jesus Christ, the Lord.