Hope is a precious commodity, one that is in shorter supply than it used to be.
Not only has hope been diminished of late, but it has been replaced by a low-level gloom, by a gnawing insecurity and a feeling of uneasy pressure: financial gloom, employment insecurity and family pressures are combining to rob many people of contentment and inner peace. In the pressurized life of many, I can identify an underlying appetite for hope.
In the brave new secular world where we live, what do we believe in now? What is the ‘bigger picture’ that sustains us and motivates us and gives us reason to persevere through the many difficult days that we face? Where are our spiritual foundations?
In a society that feels more stridently secular, more convinced that it knows better than to trust in older spiritual or religious truths, there is a strange inner emptiness, a hollow ring of discontent and an uncertainty about where it is all leading. Secular minds can have hungry spirits, because we learn that the pursuit of material things alone doesn’t satisfy, ultimately.
Holy Week and Easter are about discovering hope as we respond to the person of Jesus and to what he has achieved for us. He has always been in the business of offering people a fresh sense of hope and a renewed sense of purpose. We may choose short-cuts in an attempt to satisfy our inner hunger and we may try other options to quench our inner thirst, but in the end of the day we learn that our spiritual appetite cannot be ignored and that it needs to be satisfied by authentic spiritual reality.
I very much hope that this Easter we will discover in the cross and empty tomb ‘a sure ground for faith, a firm support for hope and the assurance of sins forgiven’.