Moments after I heard the above passage from the second reading proclaimed at Mass, the priest announced the Gospel reading, and everyone traced the sign of the cross on their hearts, as well as their foreheads and lips. Everyone at Mass was asking the Lord to sanctify their hearts to receive the Gospel and act upon it.
When we have a sanctified heart to enthrone Christ as Lord (1 Pt 3:15), our lives cannot help but reflect the joy of the Lord regardless of our life's circumstances. We will speak out of the abundance of our heart (Lk 6:45), a heart full of love for Jesus (Jn 14:21). The love of God has been poured out in our sanctified hearts through the Holy Spirit (Rm 5:5). In Jesus, we have been given a new heart to love God (Ez 36:26). No one can take this joy from our heart (Jn 16:22).
Has anyone asked you lately the reason for your hope and joy? Why would anyone ask us this? (1 Pt 3:15) It's because our life in Christ and our love for Him cannot be kept inside our joyful heart. His love always grows in a sanctified heart, which cannot contain it. His outpoured, overflowing love runs over, leaps up within us, and flows out from us (Jn 7:38; 4:14) to refresh a world that's parched, lifeless, and without the water of the Holy Spirit (see Ps 63:2).
Sanctify Jesus as Lord in your heart (1 Pt 3:15). Then people won't be able to refrain from asking you the reason for this hope of yours. Speak of your love for Jesus out of the abundance of God's love in your heart (Lk 6:45). Refresh the hearts of a hurting world in Christ (Phlm 20).