There’s always hope. We need to live in hope. We cannot give up hope.
Today’s story about the fruitless fig tree may seem…well, fruitless. Yet the gardener implores the owner to let him try to coax the tree into bearing fruit. The gardener sees beyond the dryness of the tree. He sees the potential. We don’t know whatever happened to the tree, but that’s not the point.
Living in hope is not the same as wishful thinking. We have hope when we sense that the fullness of life is not yet realized. Somehow, we know there is more, there is potential. Hope is the source of conversion and transformation. Hope points us to a better life for ourselves, for our families, for our world.
Today is the birthday of a dear friend. I value and honor his friendship. He embodies a life lived in hope. Day after day for more than a dozen years now he chooses to live sober. Through the help and encouragement of family and friends, he came to the brutal realization that he had so much potential that was being frustrated by alcohol. He lives every day in hope.
For me, there is nothing sadder than to hear that someone feels hopeless. Too many young people see no future for themselves. Returning from the ravages of war, soldiers feel overwhelmed. Chronic political gridlock causes many to become cynics.
Into our hearts and into our world comes Jesus with words of hope. “Get up and walk.” “Your sins are forgiven.” “Come and see.” “Do not be afraid.” And on and on. He knows our potential. Listen to him and you’ll never be without hope.
Robert Hotz is a consultant with American City Bureau, Inc. and was the Director of The Passion of Christ: The Love That Compels Campaign for Holy Cross Province.