The Christian recapitulates or relives each liturgical year the Messianic longing of Israel by readings from the prophet Isaiah. Isaiah was a prophet of hope in "that day" when God would establish his Messiah (Anointed One) and his Kingdom with Jerusalem as its capital. He had no way of knowing exactly how God was going to accomplish this but gave poetical expression to the Messianic hope within an historical context, with images and thoughts of his day.

Isaiah tells us that "The virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall name him Emmanuel." (Is 7:14) A spirit of wisdom and understanding would rest upon him and that justice would flower in his days till the end of time. It would be a peaceful kingdom where a calf with a lion would browse together and where men would beat their swords into plowshares. The desert would bloom and rejoice meaning that life would be renewed as never before. Finally he sees Jesusalem as the center of the Messianic kingdom as he states, "the mountain of the Lord's house shall be established as the highest mountain, and raised above the hills. All nations shall stream toward it ...." (Is 2:1)

The Christian sees in Christ the realization of Israel's hope. Christ the Son of God and Son of Man who died for our sins and rose in glory.

Hope is a dimension of the human spirit who believes in Christ and his promises. Faith is first because it contains all that is hoped for or as St. Paul states it:

"Faith is the realization of what is hoped for
and evidence of things not seen."
(Hb 11:1)

Pope Benedict XVI clarifies the existential meaning of hope thus:

"Faith is not merely a personal reaching out towards things to come that are still totally absent: it gives us something. It gives us even now something of the reality we are waiting for, and this present reality constitutes for us a "proof" of the things that are still unseen. Faith draws the future into the present, so that it is no longer simply a "not yet". The fact that this future exists changes the present; the present is touched by the future reality, and thus the things of the future spill over into those of the present and those of the present into those of the future." (Pope Benedict XVI Encyclical, Spe Salvi, No. 7) St. Paul included love in a living hope as he states:

"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".

(Rm 5:5)

5. Hope in Eternal Life