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Bishop brings words of hope

Posted By March 8, 2012 | 1:07 pm | Local

By Tanya Connor

CHARLTON – Hope is what the world desperately needs now, Bishop McManus said Monday.
He was preaching at the second of three Masses the diocese’s bishops are celebrating at St. Joseph Parish for a Lenten mission about the theological virtues of faith, hope and love. At 7 p.m. next Monday Bishop Rueger is to preach about faith. Bishop Reilly spoke about love Feb. 27.
Bishop McManus used examples from Scripture and today’s realities to make his points.
Catholics today have reason to hope that God will be faithful to them because he is always faithful to his promises, the bishop said. He recalled how God was faithful to Abraham, whom they call their “father in faith.” Abraham’s barren wife, Sarah, gave birth in her old age as God promised.
The bishop also imagined the young Virgin Mary’s confusion and fear when the angel Gabriel announced that she would be the Savior’s mother.
“But Mary had a deep, abiding faith,” Bishop McManus said. She surrendered to God. And to this day, thousands of Catholics pray daily, “Blessed are you among women and blessed is the fruit of your womb, Jesus.”
The theological basis for hope is confidence in God’s fidelity to his word, the bishop said.
“A world without God, is a world without hope,” he said.
He noted that today some have lost jobs or homes or seen their retirement savings dwindle and that economic pressures strain marriages.
“One of my deepest concerns is for our young people,” who are growing up in such a tension-filled society, he added. He spoke of T.J. Lane, charged with murdering fellow high school students in Ohio.
“He lived in a world without hope,” the bishop said.
He spoke of Jesus loving human beings so much he went to the cross for their salvation and urged listeners to look at the cross in their church. He referred to Scriptures: “in hope we were saved” and “hope does not disappoint.”
“Do you believe that God is for us and therefore no one and no power can be against us?” Bishop McManus asked. “If you believe that, you are a person of hope.”
He spoke of working toward the goal of spending eternity with God and said Italians have a saying: “Life is but a fleeting glance out the window.” But, he said, the life promised at one’s baptism, the goal for which one was created, will never end.