It’s hard to be hopeful. Look at what has been happening through the influence of Satan. There is so much despair around us. It is hard to have high hopes as Easter is more than halfway over. The good news is as we are closer to Jesus’ ascension, he is with us. That is what is bringing us hope.
In our culture, we are under siege. So many people do not share the same message that is lighting up our passions to live out our faith. It may be easy to just let it not be a concern.
Give Them A Reason
In his letter, St. Peter wants us to give us a reason for the high hopes we carry in part of the resurrected lord. We have hope because as Peter reminds us that we “Sanctify Christ as Lord in our hearts.”
We must acclaim him when we follow his way, truth, and life. We must acclaim every time we keep his commandments. We must acclaim him every time we place him at the center of our lives.
St. Peter continues by suggesting we “Always be ready to give an explanation to anyone who asks you for a reason for your hope.” Pope Francis would agree when he suggests a “Culture of encounter” every time we meet people where they are. He, of course, wants tangible engagements that don’t involve an app. He wants us to have compassion for every person that we encounter just as Jesus had in the gospels.
Suffer for Doing Good
St. Peter ends his letter by saying, “For it is better to suffer for doing good if that be the will of god, than for doing evil.” We are made for suffering. He will be mocked, ridiculed, and even canceled for doing good. In the end, when we courageously accept this path, our reward will be everlasting.
Amazingly, the bible has around the lines a three-word sentence, “Be not afraid”. Consider it a daily reminder when someone is mocking the Catholic Church, those who need to know the true meaning of the sacraments, and when it is easy to be comfortable in this world.
Let us tell our story to others. Let us be brave enough to tell the world that we will follow the way of Jesus.
Gentleness and Reverence
We must be gentle in our approach when we tell our story. In his three years, Jesus called sinners to repentance, healed the sick, raised the dead, and preach the gospel. At the same time, he did it in a loving and inviting way. Many have lacked this approach when their deliveries come too strong. We have street preachers who have good intentions, yet they lack love in their tone.
We also must be pious in our approach to practicing our faith. How often do we pray in public? How often do we say “Grace Before Meals” at a restaurant when served a meal? We must never let a moment pass to proclaim through our actions that we are Catholic. It will change the world.
The hit TV Drama “Friday Night Lights” had a famous chant said in unity among the football team that goes, “Clear Eyes. Full Hearts. Can’t Lose”. In the lines of our faith, we must have a clear vision when we want to obtain the glory of heaven. We do it by choosing good, not evil. We do have an advocate in Jesus to help us discern the right decision.
Jesus is ever present in our hearts and minds. Let’s give him glory daily. Let’s be courageous in living out our faith. Let us set an example that others will follow. Let us not be ashamed to share the gospel with others. It will change their lives when we have pity on the soul who yearns for God.