Hope is Our Fuel

No doubt many of my students will be down in the dumps tonight, saddened by the Bears’ loss in the big game. It’s a strange thing how people identify with teams and “live and die” with them.

I couldn’t help but think about the role that HOPE plays in our lives. Over the past few weeks, HOPE reigned in Chicago because of the possibility of a Superbowl championship. As a result, people in Chicago were happier, more positive, and had a spring in their step. I noticed folks on the train, even strangers, noticing one another’s Bears’ jerseys, caps, and sweatshirts, and engaging in spontaneous discussions. There was a sense of a common bond.

This morning, the train ride was like a wake. Below-zero temps didn’t help. Hope had dissolved. Which, of course, leads me to believe that it was not really hope, but rather, wishful thinking. Christian HOPE, of course, is not like that. We do not hope in a possibility but in complete confidence. Our hope cannot dissolve that easily. It is not wishful thinking. Too often, in life, we misplace our hope in that which, ultimately cannot sustain us. Christian hope, is a constant. Because of our hope, we can be joyful and we can recognize a common bond between all of God’s children (not just those who wear a certain jersey). Hope is our fuel…keeping us going, even in difficult situations, with the knowledge that God alone sustains us and that all suffering will ultimately be transformed.

Now, let’s see how the Bulls are doing….

About Joe Paprocki 2742 Articles
Joe Paprocki, DMin, is National Consultant for Faith Formation at Loyola Press, where, in addition to his traveling/speaking responsibilities, he works on the development team for faith formation curriculum resources including Finding God: Our Response to God’s Gifts and God’s Gift: Reconciliation and Eucharist. Joe has more than 35 years of experience in ministry and has presented keynotes, presentations, and workshops in more than 100 dioceses in North America. Joe is a frequent presenter at national conferences including the Los Angeles Religious Education Congress, the Mid-Atlantic Congress, and the National Conference for Catechetical Leadership. He is the author of numerous books, including the best seller The Catechist’s Toolbox, A Church on the Move, Under the Influence of Jesus, and Called to Be Catholic—a bilingual, foundational supplemental program that helps young people know their faith and grow in their relationship with God. Joe is also the series editor for the Effective Catechetical Leader and blogs about his experiences in faith formation at www.catechistsjourney.com.


  1. Watching some of the game last night and seeing the superbowl crowd, got me thinking. What if people truly believed what the church teaches about Eucharist. What if people really believed in what was happening at each Eucharistic liturgy? Our churches would have to be as big as the Dolphin stadium! My husband laughed and just said..”but this is football!”. I know…just what if…..

  2. Thank you for your words on hope. As an avid Bears fan, I was one of those zombies trudging to work through the bitter cold this morning. It was good to be reminded that Christian Hope is a more durable commodity than the projected desire I thrust upon my football team.

  3. Lauretta. what an interesting thought! I like sports but the attention (and money) we give to it as a society are so completely out of whack.

  4. Carlos, thanks for your message. Our hope in God is often easily displaced, isn’t it? That’s why I love the lines of the Gloria that say: “For you alone are the Lord, you alone are the holy one, you alone are the most high!” Now THAT’s putting things in perspective!

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