Developing Hope – BTO!-A A +A
Friday, March 1, 2013
THERE are two topics I have always wanted to write about! These are “faith” and “hope”. However, it is the fear of going into the sphere of something I am not competent and confident about that prevented me from writing about it.
This Year (from Oct. 2012 to Nov. 2013) had been declared by the Holy Father as a Year of Faith. And so, I felt that God must have a message for me. (along with everyone else!) I felt that I should read and learn more about “faith”. But I left it at that, just a plan, a desire without action! (just like many other things I have in mind, including “retirement” perhaps?)
Last Feb. 8, I saw an invitation, actually an invitation and a program, with my name already printed as one of the speakers with the assigned topic of “Developing Hope”. Of course, I could have declined. I really had some pending matters to attend to. I felt “awkward” scheduled to share after 3 other speakers who all had the titles “Dr.” before their names, and “Ph.D.”, behind.
Thus, I had to convince myself that I was competent, or at least, I should appear confident! So on a scratch paper, I wrote behind my first name “Michael” the letters “Dr.”, to stand for Michael “D”el “R”osario. (he he)
Seriously, I prayed for enlightenment. Soon after, I got to attend a Holy Mass with the priest giving a homily on “faith”. I was excited! (answered prayer!) After the mass, I followed the priest and asked him about faith and hope. In a line, he said, “Faith is the foundation of hope!”
And what is faith? “Faith is being sure of what we hope for, and being certain of what we do not see.” (Hebrews 11.1)
Two days later, I attended the book launching of Bishop Ted Bacani, Jr., for his 31st or 32nd book! The book was entitled “Faith and New Evangelization”! Perfect! I felt so blessed. I “cornered” him when most people had left, and asked him about faith and hope.
First he said, “Faith is a gift!”, and secondly, “there are 3 dimensions of faith: Faith of the head which is BELIEF; Faith of the Heart which is TRUST; and Faith of the Hands and Feet which is OBEDIENCE”.
Truly, he confirmed what is written in 1 Cor. 12:7, that “faith” is one of the 9 GIFTS of the Holy Spirit. (A gift is a “regalo” – we can pray for it, but we cannot demand for it, nor can we earn it.)
And John 6:44 says, “no one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him”. (meaning, faith is a gift!)
In his book, the brilliant bishop distinguished “faith” which is a gift and “the act of faith”, which is a human act (a free action); as in, we may have been given faith but we may not act in faith. For example, Adam and Eve were given faith, but they did not act in faith. They disobeyed the Lord. Abraham had faith and acted in faith, when he willingly sacrificed his son.
How is faith nurtured? “Faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard thru the words of Jesus Christ” (Romans 10:7)
What is Hope? To hope is to desire with the expectation of attainment.
If faith is the foundation of hope, I would believe that the stronger the foundation, the greater our hope in the Lord! I believe that hopefulness comes naturally with faith. From faith springs hope.
And one of my favorite bible phrases on hope is Isaiah 46:10 which says, “those who put their hope in the Lord will renew their strength, they will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary; they will walk and not be faint.”
My Dearest Children,
After my hour-long talk on hope, your sibling, Jessica, who was with me that morning, and with me in almost all my speaking engagements for the past 8 months, said, “Dad, it was not presented well, you did not follow your prepared powerpoint presentation at all!”
My apologies. Hopefully, this will make up for it.
May you all nurture your faith. May trials, challenges, and sufferings develop perseverance in each of you. May perseverance build your character. And may your character bring you hope (Romans 5:3-4).
Hope will not disappoint you. For your faith will see you through.
BELIEVE that everything happens for a purpose, and that all things will turn to good. (based on Romans 8:28) TRUST with all your heart that God can draw good, even out of bad situations. Continue to OBEY His will, even when in doubt, and even when others do not. Partial obedience is disobedience. And obedience unlocks understanding.
I share this to also remind myself that I should not waver in my faith in HIM, that I should hope for the best, and be ready to accept His will, and this I pray, as I face a year-long challenge!
And as I always tell you and our managers, “BTOA” (“Believe, Trust, Obey, and Act”, and everyone else will follow). The more so when it comes to FAITH and HOPE in God, let us “BTO (Believe, Trust and Obey) the LORD!
Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on March 02, 2013.