You did it! You made it through Lent. You might have failed at some of your Lenten promises, or maybe you kept most of them. Either way, God knows your heart and your intentions. He was building and shaping you in every moment. All of your sacrifices, fasting and penance lead you to a deeper relationship with our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
What peace and joy this brings to our hearts. But it doesn’t have to stop there. This joy is not just a feeling we experience one day a year, but rather a state of life that Jesus wants us to live each and every day of our lives. Joy does not base itself on circumstances, it is endless and everlasting. You can attain this lasting joy by knowing and trusting in the goodness of God. Our joy comes from the Lord.
The Catechism says,
“true happiness is not found in riches or well-being,
in human fame or power, or any human achievement— or indeed in any creature,
but in God alone, the source of every good and of all love” (1723).
So how do we live out the joy of Easter? Jesus! We look to Jesus as our guide. We look to the cross as the ultimate example of love. Easter means that the tomb is empty. Jesus left the tomb and He never went back. He only looked forward at what was to come!
This is key for our own spiritual growth. We must not turn back to old sins or struggles, or dwell on the past or things in our lives that continuously hurt us. Christ promises us new life and He wants us to experience that to the fullest.
“Just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father,
we too may live a new life.” Romans 6:3-4
Whatever it is that you may be carrying, whatever hurt, brokenness or suffering you have endured, give it to Jesus. Lay it down at the foot of the cross. He wants to comfort you, He wants to heal you and He wants you to live in His everlasting peace and joy! God continuously pours out His love for us. He sent His only son Jesus to die for our sins.
This is how much immense love He has for each one of us. It is incomprehensible. Jesus performed countless miracles throughout His life. He healed the sick, cured the blind, and raised the dead. Nothing is impossible for our Lord. He can work miracles in our lives too. But we must trust and believe that He can and He will. He will resurrect you from the tombs in your life! You just have to allow Him to work. He who makes all things new, has a beautiful plan for you.
Now, this doesn’t mean that you will feel joyful all the time. Everything will not be rainbows and butterflies. Life is not perfect and it’s certainly not easy. You will experience difficulties, but during these times if you cling to the hope that the Resurrected Christ brings, peace will reside in your heart. The peace of knowing that we have a God who we can trust, who is there for us no matter what. A God who suffered out of love for us, conquered death and brought about great salvation— an all powerful and loving God who gave His life so that we may have life eternal.
Let us pray, Jesus we thank you and praise you for all that you have done for us. We ask that you heal our wounds and that we may come to know and live out the joy of Easter through your Resurrection. Amen!
Lauren Costabile is a Catholic speaker, singer and film creator. As a performer in the Array of Hope Concert Event, she actively spreads the gospel to young people and families through music and witness. She creates inclusive films that educate and raise awareness for those with disabilities, promoting the dignity and value of all life. She loves all things gluten free and strives to use her gifts and talents to spread joy and make our world a brighter place.