Editorial note: This blog is the fifth in a six-part series featuring our free Lenten resource, “A Scriptural Pilgrimage to Christ Through Lent,” written by Lenny DeLorenzo.

There is no limit to hope because Christ has gone beyond the last horizon.

There are times when we put ourselves at a great distance from God, due to our own sin and our own neglect. Like a sheep who has wandered from the flock, I find myself alone and isolated. It is all my own doing. I rejected the care of the Shepherd, and now I have no one to care for me.

Or else, like that beloved son, I demanded my share of the estate and went off to the distant country to spend my father’s treasure on a life of dissipation. I am starved of affection, starved of nourishment, starved of the companionship I never fully appreciated. And now I am alone, wallowing in the filth of my own ingratitude. 

Sin is its own punishment. We seek to rule ourselves and, in the end, we get what we want. God does not force himself on us, and so we have the power to remain alone.

At other times, we feel beyond the reach of compassion because everything has turned against us. We are sick. Our loved ones are stricken. Our relationships break. The economy collapses. Institutions are forced to close. Social life comes to a standstill. All the forces outside my control are too powerful, and I am overwhelmed. 

Whether by sin or by tragedy, we touch the limits of hope. We can feel that there is no hope from here, from where I am, from this way of being lost to myself, lost to others, lost to God. 

And yet, there is no limit to hope because Christ has gone beyond the last horizon.

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