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The doorway into Heaven is the Cross. The season of Lent is a journey of the Cross, and the celebration of Easter — deep within our hearts, deep within our needs, within our desires – is meant to be a foretaste of Heaven.
During Lent or any time when we look at our sorrows and sacrifices as our own personal connections to Jesus, we are uniting ourselves to both his Cross and his Resurrection. Easter joy comes not only from accepting what Jesus did for us on the Cross, but also from continuing the journey side by side, step by step with Jesus. If we’re sincere about following Christ, if we truly want to grow in faith, we do whatever he does, united to his ministry of helping others grow in their eternal relationship with God. In this we face the Cross again and again.
It’s not always easy. It’s certainly not always fun, but there is no gain in salvation without the pain of sacrificial love.
The victorious alleluia of Easter is the triumph of the Cross. It’s the realization that life doesn’t have to be free of troubles in order to be full of joy. It’s the day-to-day living out of a faith that comes from trusting that God is carrying us through the trials, and bringing good out of bad. Our cross might be a soft word that we speak when someone else is angry and we feel like shouting. Our cross might be a hand outstretched to comfort the afflicted when it’s inconvenient and we feel like withdrawing. Our cross might be a good deed that we do to those who treat us unjustly and we feel like retaliating.
And our resurrection is the joy that comes from knowing that we have made a difference in the lives of others for the sake of God’s kingdom.
Love that’s given when it’s difficult is a suffering love, a passionate love, a salvific love. That is, it benefits the eternal lives of others. Then our sacrifices have a value of endless worth. This is so much better than a self-serving easy life. It’s eternally better.
Easter Sunday Mass — Easter celebration — is your celebration of rising with Jesus into glorious victory over evil.
So let me ask you this question for personal reflection: What sacrifices are you suffering from right now? Write Jesus a love letter that connects your pain to his pain on the Cross. Then rest quietly with him as if you were sharing his tomb with him: the Good Saturday, the Holy Saturday tomb.
When you’re ready to rise from your chair — your prayer chair — celebrate that God appreciates all that you have done for his kingdom. This is your resurrection. This is your Easter, and you can do this any day of the year.
And I wish you a Happy Easter every day of the year. God bless you.
This Good News Reflection comes from one of our daily Good News Reflections. To receive them free by email, sign up at http://gogoodnews.net/.