Whenever you lose hope, it makes the heart sick. Without hope, we can become ill spiritually and mentally leading to discouragement and depression.
This was one of several messages conveyed at the Christ the King Triduum held November 21–23 at St John the Baptist RC Church, San Juan.
“Hope says something may be difficult but you can do all things through Christ,” said Fr Cornelius Phillip FMI, the main speaker. His wise words resonated deeply within adolescents and adults alike.
He encouraged the congregation consisting of persons from various parishes to rise up to the occasion and be the best that they can be. “Jesus will always lift you up because His love is constant.”
He posed questions like, how do you fill your mind with hope? From a man’s heart comes either good or evil, so are you a positive person? He explained several ways to increase hope and the following four stood out to me.
“Count your blessings, associate yourself with good company, study the Word of God staying in faith because ignorance of scripture is ignorance of God, and most importantly, to pray that God gives you hope.”
Fr Phillip urged adults to teach the youths about hope. “No matter what comes your way, hope tells you to never give up. Embrace and welcome it. Your struggles help shape you into a better person but you need to hope and trust in the Lord.”
Additionally Kyle Dardaine of the Companions of the Transfigured Christ also spoke on the theme of gratitude, saying as hope increases gratitude shines forth. “It is easy for us to adopt a culture of complaints. We easily get sucked into the deception,” said Dardaine. He said that we used our tongues to profess our limitations and weaknesses instead of our gratitude. “Heaven considers gratitude as the highest expression of God.”
He explained that gratitude is an opportunity for us to raise to God a fragrance that says we believe he is the Lord God Almighty with unsolicited mercy, grace and forgiveness. Gratitude emerges from knowing that we have been saved, redeemed, set free and carried by Christ.
“Are you living the Gospel version of gratitude? Are you thinking, feeling, hoping and desiring to give God praise in all you do or are you focusing on the opposite?”
The Triduum proved to be a time to reflect on the condition of our hearts, minds and souls. As we enter into Advent, I pray that we all can take the messages of hope and gratitude pondering on them in our hearts daily because when hope increases, gratitude shines forth. —Tenisha Sylvester