Let the faithful exult in glory; let them sing for joy upon their couches. Let the high praises of God be in their throats. This is the glory of all his faithful. Alleluia.

Yesterday’s second reading is still ringing through my mind this morning.  Do you recall it’s primary message?  Take another glance at it this morning…

Beloved:
Sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts.  Always be ready to give an explanation to anyone who asks you for a reason for your hope, but do it with gentleness and reverence, keeping your conscience clear, so that, when you are maligned, those who defame your good conduct in Christ may themselves be put to shame.  For it is better to suffer for doing good, if that be the will of God, than for doing evil. 

For Christ also suffered for sins once, the righteous for the sake of the unrighteous, that he might lead you to God.  Put to death in the flesh, he was brought to life in the Spirit.

Always be ready to give an explanation to anyone who asks you for a reason for your hope…For it is better to suffer for doing good, if that be the will of God, than for doing evil.

Can you explain to anyone who asks your reason for hope?

Are you willing to suffer for doing good?

What is my reason for hope?  I can explain this in one word…LIFE.  I can remember being a young child in grade school and the teacher in religion class asked of us if we were afraid of dying.  When it was my turn to respond, I remember saying that I wasn’t afraid of death but I was not ready to die as of yet.  I enjoy being on earth too much.  I still feel that way today.  God has blessed me with so much that I still feel that my purpose here on earth has yet to be fulfilled but knowing that if I continue to live in God’s love, to live by the commandments He set forth, I will have eternal life with Him once I am done living here on earth.  That is my HOPE and it is that HOPE that makes life here on earth so special.  I find HOPE in my wife, my children, my family, my friends, my coworkers at Bell Electrical.  I find HOPE in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and I love being able to lead my fellow parishioners in the music used to sing praise to God.

As far as the second question goes, I find hope and inspiration in so many people in my life who are willing to fight daily for their life, who are willing to suffer and endure the pain of fighting cancer because of their love for LIFE.  My Aunt Jackie, my brother Jeff, my sister-in-law Cheri, my brother-in-law Marc, my friends David, Ellen, Sandy and so many others who fight this battle daily with grace and a strength of spirit that inspires me to fight my little battles that come along.  They too are my hope because in their courage to battle this illness, in their courage to endure this pain, in their willingness to suffer, they offer me a glimpse into the love Christ showed for all of us when He suffered and died on the Cross to save me.  They too are my HOPE; may God bless them each day that they suffer this pain; may God give them comfort in their battle.

Do something great for our Lord today…think about what is is that gives you hope so that when you are asked this question, you too may respond with gentleness and reverence.

God’s will, not mine, be done.

Be not afraid; just have faith.

Jesus, I trust in You.

He must increase; I must decrease.

Lord, if You wish, You can make me clean.

But you man of God chose righteousness, devotion, faith, love, patience and gentleness.  Compete well for the faith.

Eternal God, in whom mercy is endless and the treasury of compassion – inexhaustible, look kindly upon us and increase Your mercy in us so that in difficult moments, we may not despair nor become despondent but with great confidence, submit ourselves to Your holy will which is Love and Mercy itself.

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