Happy Easter!

Yes, it’s Happy Easter. Whatever we feel at this moment, whether it’s sadness or happiness, we celebrate Easter with joy. Happiness is different from joy, as happiness may depend on our situation. We are happy, for example, when our children come together to visit us on special occasions like Easter or Christmas. But when they leave, we feel sad. Even though we feel sad about their departure, we still have that joyful spirit because we know they are on their way to finding what God has stored for them.
Easter joy is not dependent on us and our situation. It is dependent on God. The resurrection of Jesus signifies that God has plans to do the same for us—to raise us and lead us out of our sorrow, hopelessness, and misery and bring us new life.

How do we move toward the joy of Easter? Let us go back to the story that transpired on Easter
morning. A group of women, including Mary Magdalene, Mary, the mother of James, and Salome, went to the tomb of Jesus to pay their respects to Him. Going to the tomb signified that they did not give
in to the gloom of sorrow and regret. They were doing something simple yet extraordinary. They were preparing herbs and spices to anoint the body of Jesus. They did not stop loving and caring for Jesus. Even amid darkness and pain, their hearts were flamed with mercy.

However, when they reached the tomb of Jesus, they discovered something upsetting and disturbing—the stone was rolled back from the grave, and the tomb was empty. The women could not find Jesus’ body, and they were distraught. They cried and did not know what to do.

Yes, the beginning of Easter was emptiness, sadness, and uncertainty. Easter joy was first felt at the empty tomb. However, sorrow was turned into joy when Jesus appeared to the women and told them that He had risen from the dead.

I remember I had a conversation with a man a few years ago who wanted to become a Catholic. He experienced the working of the living God in his life. He told me that during the economic recession of 2008, his business fell, he lost his house and other investments, and he filed for bankruptcy. Not only did he lose his possessions, but he also lost hope. His dreams were shattered.

Thanks to his parents, who continued to encourage him to move on, he decided to begin a new life in another state. While working for over a year, he met a beautiful lady who would become his future wife. He said that had it not been for bankruptcy and failure, he would not have discovered the happiness stored for him. He was happily married with two children when I met him. God accompanied the man to find triumph and victory through his cross. God is a God who consistently recreates us and makes us
anew.

Embracing our crosses and claiming our emptiness allow us to open the door to Easter joy. Let us be hopeful; our emptiness may bring us to a place of glory. God’s consistent and unconditional love for humanity is the basis of our hope and joy.

May the Risen Lord continue inspiring and blessing you and your families! Happy Easter!