The Hope of Easter Sunday

Today we are a Good Friday people. We walk with Jesus on the road to Calvary and watch Him fall. We watch as soldiers nail His hands and feet to a cross. We see His side pierced with a sword and feel sadness pierce our hearts. And maybe we feel what many of those who were actually there felt—a loss of hope, blinding despair, loneliness, or wretchedness. Maybe we even feel abandoned.

It’s easy to get stuck in that Good Friday mindset, especially in a world that wants to see us move further and further away from our faith. Sometimes it feels like our hearts are constantly broken by the things of this world. Maybe that’s sickness, a disability, or the loss of a loved one. Maybe it’s a spouse leaving or a child rejecting the faith. Maybe it’s intense loneliness. Maybe it’s the sad state of the world. Or maybe it’s all of these things combined.

We can often feel like a swimmer who has lost power against the tide and who is pulled under the water. We fight and we fight until we have lost all strength. Frustration and despair take over.

But this is the time when we need God the most. In an Ascension Presents video, Fr. Mike Schmitz explains that faith is entrusting ourselves to God and “hope is this trust extended into the future.”

Hope is the belief that our relationship with God will sustain us through the good times and the bad.

Hope is what comes on Easter Sunday. We have hope because of Jesus’ Resurrection. He conquered death so that we may live with Him, not only in this world but in the next.

When we allow despair to envelop us, when we give in to the world that tells us that faith is worth nothing and that our relationship with God is not enough, we give Satan power he does not truly have. At this, he rejoices.

God has won the war, but every day we fight our own battles. If we don’t have God in our lives, these battles can break us and leave us feeling like those who walked away from the cross on Good Friday and wondered, “What do we do now?”

But when we live as an Easter people, we allow our hope in Christ to carry us through these battles. We know that Christ is by our side. This doesn’t mean life will always be easy or that things will always go our way, but it gives us the strength to move forward and to keep swimming to shore.

This is what Jesus wants for us. Because He is a good and loving Father, He wants us to trust in Him.

In 1997, Pope John Paul II spoke at the Shrine of the Divine Mercy and said:

Anyone can come here, look at this picture of the Merciful Jesus, His heart radiating grace, and hear in the depths of his own soul what Blessed Faustina heard: “Fear nothing. I am with you always” (Diary, q. II). And if this person responds with a sincere heart: “Jesus, I trust in you!” he will find comfort in all his anxieties and fears. In this dialogue of abandonment, there is established between man and Christ a special bond that sets love free.

Christ loves us more than we can ever imagine, and He died so that we can live in hope as Easter Sunday people. He died because we matter to Him.

If you ever doubt His love, simply look to the cross, for it wasn’t the nails that kept Him there. It was His love for you.

Happy Easter from all of us at Celebrate Life Magazine!

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About the author

Susan Ciancio

Susan Ciancio is the editor of Celebrate Life Magazine and executive editor for the Culture of Life Studies Program.