By: Erin Meacham
It’s 11:11 make a wish! Chances are you didn’t get lucky to start reading this at 11:11, just like I didn’t actually start typing this at 11:11. But we all know the drill. Close your eyes, think of that one thing you really want, and then wish. I am a big fan of the 11:11 wish. However, wishing in itself is an interesting concept. It’s something we get in the habit of doing so easily, such as the 11:11 wish. Or I wish you a happy birthday, or I wish God would just solve my problems right now. Wishes seem to be so much more empty when you actually think about it. Do you believe that your 11:11 wish is going to come true? Or when you hold your breath under the bridge all of a sudden your life will be perfect? Or even if you pray for your wish hard enough God will suddenly agree to give you that car? Think about it, how often are your wishes just for fun or are they a desire for something much more?
The word wish is a misused word. Often, we use this word to be interchanged with the word hope. But, this really shouldn’t be the case. Hope is a word that can stand on its own. It’s a word that has a completely separate meaning from any other word. But, yet What is Hope? If you haven’t asked yourself this question in a while right now is the perfect time, because Lent is coming to its end and Easter is just around the corner.
Easter is the ultimate fulfillment of hope. The Jewish faithful had been living for thousands of years with the promise of a coming messiah, and through their faith and love they were able to see their hope fulfilled through Jesus. God gives us a perfect example of the difference between wishes and hope. The Jewish faithful were probably wishing for a Messiah who would overthrow the Romans, or a Messiah who would bring them all together and lead them to an Earthly promise land; however, their hope was so much more than that. Their hope lies in a desire to be free according to God’s promise, no matter what that meant. They had a hope for God’s plan as they expressed their love for God in the prayers they recited with firm faith. To wish is to tell God what we think is best; to hope is to trust that through faith and love God will work in our lives the way He thinks is best. St. Paul writes to the Corinthians clarifying how mighty our God is, “For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength” (1 Corinthians 1:25). Low and behold, instead of saving just the Jewish faithful, Jesus conquered death through His resurrection and allows everyone an opportunity to partake in this gift given freedom.
As this Lenten season comes to an end, embrace the waiting and anticipation that the Jewish faithful went through. Remember the hardships as you complete your Lenten promise. Dive deeper into the Paschal Mystery as you attend Mass and Stations of the Cross, but most importantly, remember that your hope for fulfillment will come to you through God.
God promises us, “hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out into our hearts through the holy Spirit that has been given to us” (Romans 5:5).
Take a minute and make your 11:11 wish, but then take five minutes to pour out your heart to God. He knows how to fulfill your hope.