In this reading, the author assumes the readers’ faith in Jesus will be so evident in their lives that people will notice. They may wonder how, in the face of persecution and ridicule, they still cling fast to their faith and to their hope. They may be asked how they could possibly find a reason to rejoice and be grateful in such trying times. Peter advises preparing an answer for those questions. He reminds them, though, that effective testimony to the gospel of Christ requires gentleness and respect.
If someone asked you what your secret was for remaining hopeful in a world like the one in which we live in today, what would you say? What helps you to cling to your faith for better days ahead? To what degree is your hope in Christ evident to others in your words, attitude, and actions?
In prayer, ask for the right words when someone asks about your faith, and for a gentle, respectful spirit when sharing.