Hope, the virtue of those who hunger and thirst for righteousness


One of the tragedies of our times of unparalleled material well-being is the near absence of causes or ideals that are capable of inspiring our passion. We seem to hunger and thirst for very little, except perhaps for material things and comforts.

It is this very material well being that is lulling us into this passionless life. We are becoming more cynical about our chances of success, doubting not only the good intentions of those who try to work for change, but also our own ability to succeed. As the media supply us with our daily dose of scandals and corruption, we feel more disempowered than ever and consciously or not we conclude that the best we can hope for is a quiet life surrounded by the best money can buy.

A virtue for our times

Hope has become the virtue of our time, for it enables us to go beyond this defeatist attitude and continue to believe that it is better to suffer hunger and thirst for righteousness than to be without anything to aspire for.

Hope is a virtue, a gift from God who invites to embrace it in a way that influences our life. It enables us to believe that it makes sense to work for a better world, for the future lies in good hands. Our world is in God’s hands, so that we can take huge risks to carry out what we feel called to be and do.

Working hard for what we believe in

It also shows us that it is not true that it is useless to work for what we believe in: what moved the Apostles, eleven shocked and vulnerable men, to take seriously Jesus’ words to carry the Gospel to the whole world? Luckily for us they gave their whole lives to carry out out this impossible mission. And what about those who, against all visible odds, brought about the elimination of slavery, or succeeded in touching the world’s conscience on our responsibilities towards the environment?

In her praise of God for all he did for her, Mary sees him being very active in the world, bringing down the mighty from their thrones and lifting up the lowly, filling the hungry with good things and sending the rich away empty.

Lord, help me avoid living in a self-centred way, concerned only with my own well-being. Save me from being cynical, let me feel the hunger and thirst for righteousness.

Watch this short video about 6 year old Ruby Bridges, and the change she brought about through her bravery and resilience: