Sunday, April 24, 2011

The Joy of Easter

The Desk  Columnist of the Catholic Times tells us about a grandmother that had nothing to be happy about and yet was happy. By the standards of our society she should have been pitied. Her husband and child had died many years earlier; she was poor and had no one to look after her, and yet when the writer visited her, she was singing doing the housework.

Reflecting on his own life, the writer had everything going for him, and yet he was not as happy as the  grandmother. He asked her what gave her such joy in life. She said with a smile that she is living with the Lord and how could she not be happy and thankful. The writer was embarrassed but remembered that faith --not knowing, thinking, and talking a lot--is crucial to a fulfilling life, a life lived with with the Lord, the way the grandmother was doing.

Faith is meeting the Lord daily and sharing what is received with others. A faith life is not something added on, but the very life itself. It is relating with Jesus in a personal way: sincerely, obeying  his will, responding to his love. Going to church, knowing  the scriptures, and praying is just one part of a faith life: our life has to manifest what we believe.

Our faith life is nurtured by the scriptures and  sermons, helping us to live a mature faith life. When we meet trials, we know what our attitude and  responses should be. However, it is not uncommon that when trials come, we lament and fear overcomes us. At that time, everything that we thought we knew disappears. Doing the will of God at that time seems very remote: we indulge in resentment, fear and despair. Life goes one way and our beliefs another.This is called by some the "separate rice soup" approach to life: you get the soup and rice separately. You can put the rice into the soup or eat it separately. It's your choice. When you go to Church you are a believer, otherwise life runs its own course.

Today is Easter.  Celebrating Easter for us is the climax of the liturgical year. It is a time when we are encouraged to renew our life according to our belief, not once a year but every day of our life, and especially during the difficult times. Experiencing the grace-given Easter joy in life, as our grandmother did, is the way a Christian gives proof of Easter. A Happy Easter to all.

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