Whatever circumstance we are in right now, whether happy or sad, we have reason to celebrate Easter. Easter joy is not dependent on us and our situation, but it is dependent on God. What we celebrate on Easter is that Jesus has risen from the dead.  God plans to do the same for us—to raise and lead us out of our sorrow, hopelessness, and misery and eventually bring us to a place where there is complete and perfect joy.
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 generally connected to our sufferings, struggles, and emptiness. Easter joy is indeed a different kind of joy.  It is a deeper awareness and assurance of God’s presence in our lives. Easter joy is not that kind of feeling when we celebrate special occasions with families and friends, when we win a stiff competition, when we graduate as a class valedictorian, or when our stock portfolio goes up.

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, and not a single person is exempt from the sufferings of this world.
We all remember when our churches closed on Easter Sunday in 2022 because of the Corona Virus Pandemic. We felt the emptiness of being unable to celebrate Easter’s solemn celebration in churches. Through our prayers, and by living each day with God’s love, everything came to pass.  We were back to normalcy and brought many lessons from the outbreak that enriched our lives and faith.
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, which is why we always celebrate Easter.
Let us pray for God’s care and protection, confident in our joyful life in Christ now and forever.