“Love has triumphed over hatred, life has conquered death, light has dispelled the darkness! Christians, by the grace of Christ, dead and risen, are the seeds of another humanity, in which we seek to live in service to one another, not to be arrogant, but rather respectful and ready to help. This is not weakness, but true strength!… May there echo in your hearts, in your families and communities, the announcement of the Resurrection, along with the warm light of the presence of the Living Jesus: a presence which brightens, comforts, forgives, gladdens. Jesus conquered evil at the root: he is the Door of Salvation, open wide so that each person may find mercy.”—Pope Francis
One of the ironies of the liturgical year is that we often find it easier to enter into the rigorous practices of Lent than to celebrate the joy of Easter and the Risen Lord. We know with our minds this great mystery of our faith. But we don’t always experience that joy in our hearts. It goes so far beyond our human experience that we have nothing to compare to it. At the heart of the story on Easter Sunday is the empty tomb. The stories of the appearances will come later, unfolding the mystery of the resurrection. But the first message to the apostles is that the tomb is empty. Somewhere in the darkness of the Easter Vigil and the pale dawn of Easter Sunday, each of us must confront the empty tomb and discover for ourselves the Risen Christ. Pope Francis reminds us that our joy in the Risen Christ calls us to a quiet love and service, wrapped in the awareness that our life in Christ needs no trumpets or pomp and earthly glory. We have a peace in our hearts that is stronger than death itself. All our hope lies in that promise.
— from the book The Hope of Lent: Daily Reflections from Pope Francis,
by Diane M. Houdek