JONES: Easter is the season of hope

April 26, 2022

(Photo by James Ramos/Herald)

I love the Easter season! For me, it is a season of hope. Everything about it shouts hope. The weather, the new blooms, our parish’s First Communions and Confirmations, Jesus’s resurrection, all celebrate hopefulness.

In Easter Liturgies, the messages are about hope, joy and living a new life in Jesus. Yet, each year I struggle to keep that sense of hope past the season of Easter. I am sure I am not the only one.

So, I ask, how do we continue to live a life of hope when all around us are trials, illnesses and other burdens?

We all experience challenges that place our hope in jeopardy. Even the best of us goes through difficulties. Good marriages going through a rough patch, serious illnesses striking family members, loss of family or friends, and employment/financial problems are some examples.

These and other trials can steal our hope. So, how do we maintain hope during our dark days?

First, it takes an attitude adjustment. I heard once that “hope doesn’t mean that there is no darkness; it means that there is light beyond the darkness.” We need to focus on the light. Jesus is our hope, and Easter proclaims this boldly.

He is the light to our darkness. “Abide in me as I will abide in you” (Jn 15:4). Jesus invites each one of us to live our lives in His presence.

In Matthew 28, Jesus promises, “come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest.” Not only did Jesus experience both physical and emotional pain, but he also knew betrayal by those closest to Him. Jesus shared in our humanity, with all its pain and difficulties.

Each year, during Holy Week, the Church asks us to meditate on Jesus’s passion and death, calling to mind how Jesus freely embraced this so that He could gain eternal life for us. His suffering was not the end. For on Easter morning, our Lord broke the chains of death and gained for us eternity in heaven.

Because of this, we have every reason to be full of hope. He is the light we should look toward during our dark days. He is our hope.

This is the reason Easter is the season of hope. No matter what we are going through, when all seems lost, the truth is that Christ is there. He understands our daily struggles. He knows us, and He knows our needs before we even ask for them. He created us and He loves us. Even when our prayers are not granted, our very existence is evidence of His love for us.

How can we not have hope? To the very end, He is with us. Didn’t He state in John 14:2 that He would go to prepare a place for us? As mentioned previously, sometimes it is hard to maintain that Easter hope. We cannot always change our circumstances, nor can we be protected from all hardships.

What we do have control of is how we view our situations and how we behave during our times of trial. Pray, turn everything over to our Lord, and hope. Have a happy Easter with hope that lasts the entire year. 

Deborah Jones is an associate director with the Office of Evangelization and Catechesis.