What Does Hope Look Like?

St. Paul tells us in the letter to the Corinthians that the three things that remain are faith, hope, and love. And many of us have a sense of what faith looks like, and what love looks like. But what does hope look like, and how do we grow in hope?

Recently on Morning Air®, Curtis Martin, founder and CEO of FOCUS, and Msgr. James Patrick Shea, president of the University of Mary, stopped by to discuss their work with young Catholics. During the conversation, host John Harper asked them to share what young people can teach us about hope.

“Our students are standing on the doorstep of their lives,” Msgr. Shea said. “And as they gaze out into the world in which their headed (and which they already belong to in meaningful ways), that world isn’t getting any less complicated. There are plenty of shadows and storms, and there’s plenty of darkness in it.”

“But at the same time, the confidence that comes from following Jesus Christ engenders a kind of hope, which is mingled with a kind of invincible joy.”

But what is it about following Jesus that leads these young people such joy and hope? Msgr. Shea said, “I think what you see in students who have been touched by the Gospel in a profound way, and who really are living it, is that they are already getting the deepest sense of what it means to be a human being and a disciple. And it’s that we have to give our lives away.”

“I’m always telling our students that unless you find a way to give your life away in love, you’ll never be happy,” he continued. “You’ll never find joy, meaning, and satisfaction in your life.”

Msgr. Shea referenced a saying that the late Cardinal George, Archbishop of Chicago, often said: “The only thing that we take with us when we die is what we’ve given away.”

“The only things that endure are our relationships with God and with each other,” Msgr. Shea said. “And so when that profound conviction comes in, our students are able to live in hope. Because ultimately for the Christian, for the follower of Jesus, hope is about heaven. It is our eternal destiny. It’s about what happens when we close our eyes in death and we open them again to see the face of the One who loves us best, and what happens in that moment.”

“Our whole lives are preparation for that, and so our students live in hope, because they understand that their lives are meant to be lived in such a way that they are preparing for eternity. When we remember that every day of our life, every minute, every time we take a breath, it changes us.”

Listen to the full conversation with Curtis Martin and Msgr. James Patrick Shea below:

Morning Air can be heard weekdays from 6:00-9:00 a.m. Eastern/3:00-6:00 a.m. Pacific on Relevant Radio®


Stephanie Foley serves as a Digital Media Producer at Relevant Radio®. She is a graduate of Franciscan University of Steubenville, where she studied journalism, and she has worked in Catholic radio for 12 years. Stephanie is a wife, a mother of three boys, and in her free time she enjoys reading, running, and really good coffee. You can find more of Stephanie’s writing at relevantradio.com and on the free Relevant Radio mobile app.