The readings of today remind me that for us Christians, there are at least two reasons to live a life of joyful hope.
As St. John reminds us often in his letters and in his writing of the Gospel, we are adopted sons and daughters of God, sharing in the very life of God. This is who we now are; what will be has not yet been revealed, but we know that if we are faithful, we will see God face to face and be transformed by his love. This is a great source of our hope.
A second reason is as we heard in today’s Gospel reading at Mass. Jesus will come again in glory. Yes, he comes. Our earliest Christian ancestors eagerly looked forward to the second coming of Jesus, and lived as if he were to return within their lifetimes. This was a source of great joy for them, and spurred them on in their evangelistic zeal. We today, some two thousand years later, are also to live as if Jesus might return soon, indeed as if he may return at any moment. His second coming in glory is a enduring source of our Christian hope and joy.
Let us live with the hope that is continually born anew in our lives, a hope that impels us in our relationships with others and in our understanding of humankind. We are to be a hopeful people. We are to see in each other a sign of hope and in that way respect the dignity of each man or woman, regardless of their circumstances.
If we are faithful and live in love, the hope which is ours will come to fruition. Thanks be to God.