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August 17, 2008

A Celebration of Hope
     If we made a survey (not a political one), and asked people what they think the world needs more than anything else at this point in time, the odds are high that Hope would be at the high end of the list.  Perhaps Peace would top the list but Hope would probably come in as a very close second.  People everywhere, even in the great nation of the United States of America, are very much aware of the desperate situation of our world

    The recent opening program for the Olympics was a grand display of this need for Hope.  The Chinese people, regardless of their social or economic status, were proud of their nation on that occasion.  They saw a reason for Hope.  They knew that all the world was watching.  This was their opportunity to prove that China had a reason to Hope in a better future.  The Chinese were not alone in their joy.  The people world wide shared in their triumph.  For the most part, people around the world realize that the Chinese people have much to offer the world.  They have suffered much over the centuries and this was a glorious occasion to experience Hope.

    On a more local scene, the people of the United States are presently proving that they too are searching for something better.  We, as a nation, need Hope in our lives.  The two political parties are very much aware of this need in the American people.  It is very likely that the party that is most able to produce at least a semblance of Hope for America will reap the benefit in November.

    It stands to reason that if Hope is needed in the great nation of the United States, it is definitely needed in many third world countries as well.  Without Hope there can be no Peace, and Peace is key to security and happiness.  We must stand back and see the entire picture if we want to understand the individual or more minute aspects of world peace.

    This past Friday we celebrated the Feast of the Assumption of Mary.  We probably do not often think of this feast as very important but if we take a little time to reflect, we see that it is a celebration of the very thing we most desire, i.e. Hope.  When Mary was taken into heaven she was literally taken up into God.  The wondrous and hopeful thing about this act is that Mary was just like us.  She was a human being.  For the women of the world, Mary was a woman.  And, yes, God took her to Himself to share his divinity.  She was not rich or well educated.  She was not well traveled or even well known.  She was a very ordinary women yet, she was called by God to be with him. 

    This is probably the best kept secret of the church but we are all called to be with and in God.  The only thing we must do is respond in kind.  If God’s love for us is left unrequited then it is our own fault.  We surrender our gift.  As we see in Mary, it does not take a Ph D in anything to respond to God.  It simply takes an open and sincere heart.  Simply put, we all have reason to Hope.  Mary gave us this opportunity.  All we need is a positive response to God’s invitation.  If this sounds too good to be true, it isn’t. 

                                Lorette P. Nault