What do you hope for?

The Nazareth Page - A gospel meditation for your home

April 14, 2024 – Third Sunday of Easter, Luke 24:35-48

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Do you ever ask yourself what do you hope for? Or what do you expect up ahead? As my days pass (seemingly more quickly as I age), in quiet moments I find myself in a state of wonder. I ask myself what do I honestly desire after my time on Earth has ended? What do I hope for? In general, if I am honest with myself, I want to continue living, and if possible, maybe have it better.

I accept that my hopefulness is not shared by all. A certain pessimism about the future is not uncommon. As is cynicism. We can be turned toward darkness by much of the news that fills our TVs and sours the internet. We are all too aware of the downside of things. Of life hanging by a thread. Or of a future that might not end well at all. The prophets of doom remain in our midst.  

But I try to remain hopeful knowing full well that contrary views remain popular among many. Some might think of me as being unrealistic, even a bit crazy.


Still, I cling to a hope for an even better experience of existence. Sort of like the feeling I had a few years back, when I was traveling more, in being informed that I had been upgraded to first class. Or when I learned that my social security monthly allowance had been increased. Or when I learned that my mortgage had been paid off in full. Or that I learned that I had no need for additional dental work after a check-up. In other words, while I was accepting of more of the same, I was very open to being surprised by being given something a little better. Admittedly, I harbor a hunger for more of life, and would even welcome some improvement.


In our annual celebration of the appearances of Jesus as risen from the dead, we again learn that he wanted to assure his followers that after their own deaths (their certain future), they too will be blessed, similar to how he was. His life did not end with death, but with resurrection. He made this point while sharing a meal with them.


This suggests to me that it is especially when sharing food with others that we might also think about “the heavenly banquet” up ahead. Or while participating in the Eucharistic meal. Or also during times when we break bread with others in our families, with friends, or even with strangers. These can be sacred moments when we might be more aware of the need to nourish our bodies, minds and spirits. And to allow ourselves hope for an even better future.    

  David M. Thomas, PhD     

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