Today's second reading, from the 27th Sunday in Ordinary Time (A), is a great inspiration for hope and optimism.
Although most of today's readings have to do with how we reject the call to salvation and how we may not treat the gifts God gives us with gratitude and stewardship, my focus stayed with the Letter of St. Paul to the Philippians. One of my weaknesses, which with God's help will become really tiny someday, is my desire to control outcomes. Many times I forget and think that it is up to me to make something happen. I guess this will be the equivalent of not asking for directions while driving, except while I drive through life. When I'm lucky, I then remember to trust in Divine Providence and to know that "All shall be well, all shall be well, in all matters of things all shall be well" as Julian of Norwich used to say. Now, things may not turn out exactly as I wanted them to, but they will turn out as they need to according to God's will.
From the second reading today, a lesson in hope... "Have no anxiety at all, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God. Then the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus."
Then our hearts will be at peace! If, and only if, we actually surrendered our anxiety and trusted. If we pray and still worry, then we really didn't believe in God's love for us. If our mind is still worrying, then we have not really hoped in Divine Providence. I think that is why in the next sentence St. Paul then asks us that after praying to God we only think of things that are true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, gracious, and things worthy of excellence and praise.
At least for me, this is a great lesson in hope and optimism.