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EDITORIAL | We are an Easter People

“We are an Easter People and Alleluia is our song!”

Those were the words of St. John Paul II from his Angelus message more than three decades ago.

What did he mean? Well for starters, it signifies that we should live our lives daily with the knowledge that Jesus conquered sin and death on the cross, ultimately leading to His glory in the resurrection.

“We live in the light of His Paschal Mystery — the mystery of His death and resurrection,” the Holy Father said. “We are not looking for a shallow joy but rather a joy that comes from faith, that grows through unselfish love, that respects the ‘fundamental duty of love of neighbor, without which it would be unbecoming to speak of joy.’ We realize that joy is demanding; it demands unselfishness; it demands a readiness to say with Mary: ‘Be it done unto me according to thy word.’”

It can be challenging to find joy in the midst of suffering, though. We cannot pretend that darkness and sin do not exist, as St. John Paul II duly noted. A prime example of this is the Easter suicide bombings in Sri Lanka, which targeted two Catholic churches and one evangelical church, took the lives of more than 350 people and injured more than 500. The violence was the deadliest Sri Lanka had seen since a 26-year civil war ended in 2009.

Cardinal Daniel DiNardo of the U.S. bishops’ conference said, however, that “This evil cannot overcome the hope found in our Savior’s resurrection. May the God of hope who has raised His Son, fill all hearts with the desire for peace.”

As we have entered the Easter season — the 50-day period from Easter Sunday until Pentecost, this year on Sunday, June 9 — we are reminded daily of Jesus overcoming the pain and suffering found in this world, as we celebrate the sacrifice of the Mass. We should think of it as a mini-Easter everytime we are at Mass, commemorating Christ’s resurrection from the dead.

With that in mind, we offer our prayers for peace in this world — the peace that Jesus brought to us through His glorious resurrection.

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