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'I Am The Hope Of Glory'

Author: Andy Drozdziak, CCR Web Editor

Picture: Castle Of Faith

'I Am The Hope Of Glory'

We need to allow God's hope and love flow through us in Advent, says Andy Drozdziak.

‘I am the hope of glory.’

I reacted with surprise as I heard the Lord speak these words to me during Mass. I was feeling pretty cold and shaky, like a leaf waiting to be blown off a tree, fresh from a family argument and not thinking deeply about Advent.

I considered the lack of hope surrounding me: yet more covid restritions, and painful stories of suffering.

Many of us have been impacted by personal covid stories.

I was heartbroken to hear about 20-year-old  Finlay Macnab, a former professional footballer with AFC Wimbledon, who cannot play anymore due to long covid. Another sufferer, who recently became a father, did not even have the strength to pick up his tiny daughter.

With the psalmist, we ask: How long, Lord? How long will the pain of these people, and others in a similar position, last?

God And Grace

If there is one thing we definitely need at this time, it’s hope-and hope is a key Advent theme.

We are told in Colossians 1:27 that the mystery hidden for endless generations is simply ‘Christ in you; the hope of glory’.

The Christ mystery is indeed deep, and one thing we do know about our new life in Christ is that Christ is in each of us. 

A good friend recently said to me that he could not believe that God would bother with broken, sinful humans. Yet God does, indeed, reach out to bruised and broken people, and offers us His total love and forgiveness, as writer Philip Yancey spoke of in his book, What’s So Amazing About Grace?

Yancey puts it this way: Grace means there is nothing I can do to make God love me more, and nothing I can do to make God love me less. It means that I, even I who deserve the opposite, am invited to take my place at the table in God's family.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church says it like this: The grace of Christ is the gratuitous gift that God makes to us of his own life, infused by the Holy Spirit, into our soul to heal it of sin and to sanctify it. It is the sanctifying or deifying grace received in Baptism. (CCC 1999)

"Jesus Is Victor"

Our baptism in the Spirit confirms to us that there is hope and that hope is REAL-found in Jesus: “In His name the nations will put their hope” (Matt.12:21).

It's a free gift, but we must choose to live a life of love-by inviting the Spirit to live and work in us. We are walking tabernacles, like Mary, called to carry the ‘hope of glory’ in us and change lives. What might this look like in practice? 

The true story of Corrie Ten Boom, who suffered terribly in Ravensbrück concentration camp during the second world war, is inspiring.

Once a group of young prisoners were moved to an ammunition factory- a dangerous mission, as the ammunition factory was a target for bombs. As Corrie hid behind a building while the 250 young, terrified prisoners walked by, she whispered to them: “God’s love stands after all else has fallen; Jesus is Victor.” 

When they returned to the concentration camp, they shared with Corrie how, as bombs dropped and the building shook, they all gathered together and comforted each other by repeating Corrie’s two phrases: “God’s love stands after all else has fallen; Jesus is Victor.” After the war, she allowed the hope of glory to flow through her again by forgiving a Nazi guard who was involved in the murder of her sister.

That is true faith and grace in action. Hope and grace were more powerful than the Nazis’ hate and rage. 

Be Empowered

So how can we live a life of love, with the hope of glory in us?

It is not a matter of 'muscular Christianity', of striving to succeed, but rather a case of ‘letting go and letting God.’ 

We must allow the ‘hope of glory’ within to go beyond hate and beyond fear. Jesus told us not to fear and we must be confident in His words-because Christ is in us. We need to also pray with expectant faith. Jesus told us we would accomplish greater than He. Let’s believe it and live it out. 

Finally- be empowered. Let’s pray for a new heart and a new Spirit. Let’s drink from the well that never runs dry, sharing the hope of glory with the world that God so loves. 

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