Southwestern Indiana's Catholic Community Newspaper

Contemplating Desires And Expectations

Tim Lilley

Earlier this month, the website published the full text of a homily that Father Edwin C. Dwyer delivered during a Mass at Our Lady of Peace Parish in the Diocese of Saginaw, Mich. As he began, Father Dwyer offered the following definition of hope, which he credited to a “philosopher:”

“Hope is the desire of something with the expectation of attaining it.”

What a perfect vision of hope to contemplate now, just a few days before Jesus’ birthday and a few more days before the start of another year. Within that definition is a foundational element of the faith we all need literally every day on our journey toward eternal salvation.

Everyone you know desires something. Some have big dreams; others wish only for the smallest of treasures in their lives.

My experience has been that not everyone with dreams has expectations of attaining them – which is a tragedy. Lack of those expectations leaves me feeling as though those folks, for whatever the reason, never had the seed of faith planted in their lives.

Think about it – what else but faith can fuel the expectation of attaining something we desire?

I know; there are people who will say “it takes hard work to achieve in life.” They are right inasmuch as effort is important. From here, however, effective hard work is founded in skills and talents that are blessings from God.

If this column – or, for that matter, any column I have written over the past 5 ½ years – moved you to action or to think, please don’t credit me. As I have said in this space before, I believe God blessed me with the ability to communicate. When I do so effectively, so as to move you or another reader, then the Holy Spirit is communicating through me.

That being said, here’s the view of hope I see. Those who truly have hope acknowledge in faith that they will achieve what they desire because they know God has equipped them to do whatever is necessary. They have faith that they will attain what they desire because they have faith in God, His only-begotten Son and the Holy Spirit.

In just a few days, we will commemorate the most awesome evidence of hope that man has ever seen – the birth of God’s Son, who lived and died to serve His Father and us. A week after that, we will welcome 2019 with plenty of hope.

You and I have desires for the New Year. My prayer is that you and I walk the path of faith that is paved with the expectation of attaining those desires. For now, however, let us do what our priests say right after we pray the Our Father in Mass and “wait in joyful hope for the coming of our Savior Jesus Christ.”

A closing note – we will not publish on Dec. 28 or Jan. 4. The Message will return on Jan. 11. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and your family!