Father Thomas G. Weinandy
“[Pope Benedict] perceives that all men and women today both desperately need hope and search for a reason for hope. He is convinced that true authentic hope is found in the Gospel of Jesus Christ.” —from the essay “Hope for Today” by Thomas G. Weinandy, OFM CAP
A Talk with Thomas G. Weinandy, OFM CAP, author of “Hope for Today” from Benedict XVI: Essays and Reflections on His Papacy
Q. How does the Pope address the crisis of hope in a world of immense human suffering?
A. Not only is there immense human suffering, past and present, but what compounds the problem is the secular nature of our culture. Because of a lack of belief in the Gospel, the world, especially in the West, lives without hope. For Benedict, the source of all hope is the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Jesus, the eternal Son incarnate, is the source of all hope.
Q. How does Jesus bring hope to the world?
A. For Benedict, Jesus, through his death and resurrection, attends to the heart of human hopelessness – sin and death and the suffering that they cause. Through his death, Jesus reconciles us to the Father and through his resurrection, he gives, through faith, the transforming power of the Holy Spirit. In Christ, Christians come to a new way of life – a life founded upon our life with the Father through the indwelling Spirit. This is a hope that will not disappoint.
Q. Why will this hope not disappoint?
A. This hope will not disappoint because those who believe know that, while they live in a world of great suffering and evil, Jesus has conquered sin and death. He has conquered hopelessness. For Benedict, in the midst of suffering, we are still able to experience the love of God and the love of the Body of Christ, the Church. In the midst of suffering the hope of eternal life is assured where all evil will be vanquished and every tear will be wiped away. Then, all hope will be fulfilled – a life of love and goodness with the Blessed Trinity and with all of our brothers and sisters in Christ.
Thomas Weinandy. OFM CAP, is executive director of the USCCB’s Secretariat of Doctrine.
“For Pope Benedict, love encompasses the whole of human existence. Man needs to both give love and receive it as a gift.”