At a recent inter faith gathering held in Brisbane, Australia, I witnessed leaders of different faith traditions expressing their aspiration for a better world where there will be a lessening of conflicts and disasters. Almost every speaker expressed explicitly while others implicitly, their hope that humanity will be more united for the greater good of all. This is certainly something that we can resonate with. All of us have hopes for a better future. Even though our lived realities show that we are in a time when there are so many uncertainties. Economically we are at a time when many families struggle to make ends meet. Politically we find ourselves questioning if we are heading in the right direction. Spiritually we are finding ways to arrive at inner peace.

In the midst of all these uncertainties, what can we do? The word that comes to my mind is HOPE. St Paul puts hope as one of the theological virtues. We are in the season of Easter. At the death of Jesus, the disciples were devastated as they thought that their leader had abandoned them without bringing about the change that they had been expecting. However hope was restored when they witnessed the empty tomb and subsequently, the many encounters they had with Jesus prior to His ascension.

Hope is a powerful and necessary virtue that we all need, to live. If we lose hope, we lose the zest for life. That is why in this season of Easter, we have chosen to focus on the theme of hope. We always hope for a better future for the next generation. In order to achieve this, we must believe that change is possible and this belief must be infectious. Far too often we pass on the negativity that we carry within ourselves rather than the positive energy. For example, we are quick to correct others of their mistakes but we are extremely slow to encourage or compliment the good things others do. If hope is to be one of the foundational virtues, then we must channel this positive energy which comes from the Holy Spirit to hope for change.

In our Easter Vigil liturgy, the Liturgy of the Word manifests to us how humanity through our history has grown to hope in our God who has been constant in His love for us, His children. If we do not find hope in God and in one another, and share this virtue with others by the way we live, than the world becomes pessimistic. This is not what the world needs at this juncture of human history. Our pessimism and negativity cannot make our world a better place.

Let the joy and hope that the resurrection brings to us in this season of Easter not only restore our faith but may it also spur us to be agents of hope in our communities.