Embracing Our Crosses is the Gateway to Easter Joy

 

Happy Easter!

 

There is still a reason to celebrate Easter despite our collective experience of global uncertainties and probably some personal difficulties.  Easter joy is not dependent on us and our situation. It is dependent on God. What we believe on Easter is not only that Jesus has risen from the dead. God has plans to do the same for us—to raise us and lead us out of our sorrow, hopelessness, and misery.

How do we move towards the joy of Easter? Let us go back to the story that transpired on Easter morning.

A group of women that included Mary Magdalene, Mary, the mother of James, and Salome went to the tomb of Jesus to pay their respects to Him. However, 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 has risen.

Easter joy is connected to our sufferings, struggles, and emptiness, and Easter joy is indeed a different kind of joy. Easter joy is not that kind of feeling when we celebrate special occasions with families and friends, when we win a stiff competition, or when we secure our dream job.

There is no question that these kinds of joy are what we long for to happen in our lives. However, you and I know that challenges and hardships are inevitable parts of life. Not a single person is exempt from the sufferings of this world.

Amid our Church’s most important liturgical season, we collectively suffer from the effects of the pandemic, the war in Ukraine along with inflation. Some might have felt uncertain about the future.

Embracing our crosses and claiming our emptiness allow us to open the door to Easter joy. After all, God’s consistent and unconditional love for humanity is the basis of our hope and joy. This is indeed the greatest reason why we always celebrate Easter.

Let us continue to pray for God’s care and protection upon us, confident in our joyful life in Christ now and forever. May the Risen lord continue to bless you and your families!

 

Fr. Dennis