Resurrection is the cornerstone of our Christian faith. “If there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ has not been raised; if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain” (1 Cor 15:13-14).
Some days ago, the Good Lord has given me the grace to see the tremendous power of the Resurrection at work thanks to the following saying that I found, hanging on a wall, in a very tidy corridor of a retreat house. The saying said: Hope has never abandoned me.
This saying really made a great impact on me, particularly since I hear and witness daily all sorts of tragic life stories at Mater Dei. Resurrection is about hope. That enduring hope enfleshed in life that defeats death always and everywhere. But how do I have hope?
Pope Francis personally teaches the following lessons regarding hope. First, having hope means not making room for bitter or dark thoughts. Second, having hope means believing in the existence of the noblest and beautiful truths and trusting that God, through the Holy Spirit, is ushering everything toward the good, towards Christ’s embrace. Third, having hope is knowing that the world goes on thanks to the vision of many people who created an opening, who build bridges, who dreamed and believed, even when they heard words of derision around them.
Fourth, having hope means believing that our earthly struggles are not useless. God made us to flower. Fifth, having hope means that where I am let me build. Sixth, having hope means that when I fall I get up and let people help me to get to my feet. Seventh, having hope means that if I am sitting let me start walking the journey. Eighth, having hope means that if I am bored stiff let me crush this boredom with good works. Ninth, having hope means that if I am demoralized let me ask the Holy Spirit to replenish my void. Tenth, having hope means working for peace among people. Eleventh, having hope means that with disputes, let me wait patiently. One day I shall discover that a silver of truth has been given to everyone.
Twelfth, having hope means loving people and respect each one’s journey since, behind every journey, there resides a story. Thirteenth, having hope means believing that every baby, including the unborn, is the promise of a life that once again shows it is stronger than death. Fourteenth, having hope means dreaming of a world still not seen, but will certainly come one day. Let me think of those who sailed oceans, scaled mountains, conquered slavery or made life better for people on earth. Fifteenth, having hope means being responsible of not perpetrating any injustices against the poor. Sixteenth, having hope means asking God for courage every day. Let me never forget that Jesus conquered fear for us! Seventeenth, having hope means that if fear or evil looms so large that it gives the idea that it is insurmountable let me remember that Jesus is in me. And precisely, through me, it is He, who, thanks to his meekness, wants to dominate all enemies of humanity, sin, hatred, crime and violence.
Eighteenth, having hope means that while being courageous in speaking the truth let me also remember that I am not above anyone. Let me not dismiss the company of human beings for this reason. Nineteenth, having hope means holding onto ideals and live for something greater than myself, even if it comes at a high price. Twentieth, having hope means that nothing is more human than making mistakes and that these mistakes must not become a prison for me. After all the Son of God came not for the healthy but the sick in order that people should not be afraid to get up again and start all over when they fall. This is so because God is my friend. Twenty-first, having hope means that if bitterness strikes me let me firmly believe in all those people who still work for the good; the seed of a new world is in their humility. Twenty-second, having hope means spending time with people who nourish a child-like heart. Twenty-third, having hope means live, love, believe and with God’s grace, never despair.
Is this not what Resurrection is all about?