It is the Cup of Hope

Paul connects hope with the shedding of Christ’s blood. We have hope, precisely because while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (see Romasn 5:6-8)

Jesus had just told his disciples that he would “suffer greatly and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests and the scribes, and be killed, and rise after the third day.” He told them that they would have to deny themselves, take up their crosses and follow him.

They had no idea what he was talking about. They must have wondered if they really wanted to follow him under these circumstances. And when what he said made the situation seem hopeless, he takes some of them up a high mountain, and shows them glory!

They still don’t know what he meant when he talked about being rejected and put to death. They’re still not sure what it means for them to take up their crosses and follow him. But they have had a vision of glory and that makes all the difference. They now have hope.


Many years ago, three of our candidates in formation met me in Guatemala. They had come to see what Precious Blood spirituality looked like in another part of the world. The Guatemalan civil war was still going on. People were still suffering. And almost every day, Fr. Noè, our host, took us to see another historic church. And in every church we visited, there were three major statues: The crucifix, the dead Christ, and the sorrowful mother.

One evening, one of the seminarians asked me if we had to go to another church and look at another statue of the dead Christ. It all seemed too gruesome to look at again. So I ask him not to look at the statue the next time we were in such a church, but to look at the people kneeling before it.

The following night, I asked him what he had seen. “I saw hope.” The people he saw that day were living through their own crucifixion. They had seen dead bodies lying along the side of the road. But the statue of the dead Christ gave them hope. They had hope because looking at that statue they knew that their God had suffered, too. They knew that their God was suffering with them now, and that gave them hope.  They new that the dead Christ was not the end of the story and that the death and destruction that surrounded them was not the end of the story either. Knowing that the dead Christ was going to rise again gave them hope that they, too, would rise again and experience new life.

When the cup is placed on the altar, as the deacon or priest pours wine and water into it, we are invited to pour our hopes and dreams, our cares and concerns into that cup, because it will soon be transformed into the cup of hope for us.

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