Always be ready to give an explanation to anyone who asks you for a reason for your hope (1 Peter 3:15).
According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, hope is the theological virtue by which we desire the kingdom of heaven and eternal life as our happiness, placing our trust in Christ’s promises and relying not on our own strength, but on the help of the grace of the Holy Spirit (CCC 1817). This hope is the longing for the happiness that God has placed in our hearts from birth. It is what keeps us going day after day, amid the ups and downs of life. Hope inspires our activities and gives us a purity of mission. So, what is the reason for this hope?
Our hope comes from Jesus. Not only did He come to bring us hope, He is our hope. In Jesus’ preaching and teaching, He constantly proclaimed hope in the unfolding of God’s Kingdom. The Beatitudes raise our hearts and minds to heaven and give us hope through all life’s tribulations. He said that we will be blessed even through sorrow or persecution. Jesus’ works of healing and restoration show that our hope of being people fully alive is not in vain. He healed the sick and forgave sins. He brought people together and showed a way of being. He said that he came so that we might have life and live it to the full (John 10:10).
As we live in hope in the midst of COVID-19, it is all the more important to do what St. Peter said and “be ready to give an explanation…for reason of your hope.” Rather than succumbing to despair, we need to show that we are people of hope. When we are apart from our friends and family, when we experience sickness, suffering and death, when we cannot go to our places of worship, we need to be people who are ready to share our joy and our faith in Jesus. We need to be the hands and feet of Jesus and reach out to those in need, be it physical or virtual. We need to make Jesus known and loved, by our words and deeds. We need to testify to the belief that our hope is rooted in and built on our life in Christ. The world needs us to “put on the breastplate of faith and charity, and for a helmet the hope of salvation” (1 Thessalonians 5:8).