Easter is a joyful time of year for Christians; it is the culmination of the entire liturgical year. After the serious and often grim days of Lent, the Church bursts forth into song; our parishes are filled with flowers and “Alleluias” resound. However, we all know that our lives are not always celebratory. We mourn. Sickness often consumes our lives. And it’s not just us personally; the entire world grieved during Holy Week as terrorists attacked in Brussels. We live in a sorrowful world.
Pope Francis knows this. On Easter, he gave the papal address, Urbi et Orbi (City and World). He acknowledged that our lives must be rooted in faith:
Before the spiritual and moral abysses of mankind, before the chasms that open up in hearts and provoke hatred and death, only an infinite mercy can bring us salvation. Only God can fill those chasms with his love, prevent us from falling into them and help us to continue our journey together towards the land of freedom and life.
While our lives here on Earth can often seem overwhelmed by evil, the Holy Father reminds all of us that Christ’s Resurrection “offers us the comforting assurance that the abyss of death has been bridged and, with it, all mourning, lamentation and pain.”
The message of Easter is not one for Christians alone. It is meant for all humanity. We must see to it that those without hope come to know hope in Christ. It is only in Christ that all things can be made new, as it says in the book of Revelation. In a world torn by war, hatred, terrorism and personal strife, Pope Francis spoke clearly to our hearts:
With the weapons of love, God has defeated selfishness and death. His son Jesus is the door of mercy wide open to all … May efforts be made everywhere to promote the culture of counter, justice and reciprocal respect, which alone can guarantee the spiritual and material welfare of all people.
The joy of Easter can sometimes be very hard to sustain. Yet, as Christians, we must always carry the hope of Christ and His triumph over death in our minds and in our hearts. In a hurting world, we must exemplify faith, hope and love to those who have lost faith, abandoned hope and do not know love. On our lips should ever be the joyful refrain of the Psalmist: “This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad.”