Why is Easter so important for Christians? Well, to be a Christian is to believe in the Resurrection of Christ. We are not Christians because we believe in the cross, suffering, and death of Jesus. We are Christians because we believe in the Resurrection, which for us means liberation, life, and joy.
Hopefully, through Easter, we gain the security of knowing that through the power of the Risen Lord, all trials transform into grace, all sadness into joy, and all death into resurrection.Through Easter, we gain the security of knowing that failure no longer no longer has the power to determine our life … ditto for sin, suffering, or death. Every moment of our life, every thought, word and action is prime material for redemption. We discover how suffering and joy can co-exist. Suffering is ours because we are human; joy is ours because we are sons and daughters of God. Our joy is the measure of our belief in the power of Easter. Joy gives us confidence, hope, and faith, even in the midst of suffering.
Unfortunately, for some people, this joy can be hard to find. Why? Because there is too much attachment to sadness. By way of example, sometimes folks tell me how they desire to make a change in their lives and so they pray for that change to happen. But deep down they really don’t want to change. So I advise them: “OK, instead of praying for change, pray that the Spirit will grant you the desire to change.” So too with faith in the power of Easter and resurrection. Instead of asking if we have faith in the power of Easter to transform our lives, maybe we have to ask if we have the desire to experience this transformation.
Our faith, our hope of resurrecting, for us and others, depends closely on our ability to die to our faults, our sadness, and to our bitterness and resentments. It means being willing to let go of our agitations, our fears, our agendas, and our selfishness. Those are areas of our life where we are dead those are ways we keep ourselves in the tomb. It’s like going through life looking at a black and white TV with no sound, instead of a color TV with surround sound. As the Church said at the beginning of Lent, we choose death or we choose life. Instead of dragging on the pain, could we not trust in the Lord and resurrect with him to peace, to faith, to hope, to love, and to joy?
With loving fondness..