“Hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us” (Romans 5:5).
As every dark night is followed by a new day and as calm follows the storm, so there is hope for those who trust in God, even in the midst of suffering and trials. Easter is a reminder to us that evil and death don’t have the last word, that our faith in the God of Life who raised Jesus from the dead, will also raise us from death. He will raise us not only on the last day, but will also bring us to life from our pains, sufferings and miseries of this life.
Hope is needed for life, a life lived in peace and in the light. If we don’t have hope, if we don’t believe, and if we don’t trust that God can turn the darkness of our life in this world into light, then we are bound to live in darkness and despair. Hope scatters the darkness that envelops us, because hope gives meaning to what we cannot logically understand.
Easter also reminds us that the Resurrection of Jesus is not just an event of the past, but is meant to have a real impact on our lives, in our world, in the present and in the future.
As people who have faith and hope, we find in these theological virtues the courage to face the challenges of life with confidence, knowing that God is with us and that He is giving us His grace to help us work through these challenges of life. It teaches us that no matter how difficult our struggles may be, we can always find hope in Jesus’ victory over death.
As we celebrate another Easter, we are reminded of our responsibility to live as disciples of Jesus, reflecting in our own lives the love for each of us that Jesus showed by giving His life on the Cross, so that we, too, may come to believe and hope in the Son of God and in the eternal life He promised to us all.
When we renew our baptismal promises this Easter, let us recommit ourselves to a new life grounded in faith and hope and renewed in the Risen Lord. This witness to hope is particularly relevant in today’s world where so much uncertainty, fear, and division are still all around us. The support we can provide for each other as we gather to celebrate Easter this year, can give us the strength to face our challenges and to find hope in difficult times.
I often think of the symbolism and connection between Easter and spring. Easter falls in early spring when nature is coming back to life after a long winter. The trees are budding, the flowers are blooming, and the air is filled with the sound of birds. This season of renewal is a powerful reminder that even after the darkest of winters, life will return. And so, we can joyfully sing Alleluia!!!
Happy Easter! Feliz Pascoa! ¡Felices Pascuas! Buona Pasqua! Joyeuses Pâques!
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Most Rev. Edgar M. da Cunha, S.D.V.
Bishop of Fall River