April 9, 2023

The reason for the joy of Easter is that Christ is risen –
the women who came to the tomb found their joy in this.
They may have found joy also in a beautiful dawn in the garden, or in their friendships,
but the joy of Easter is a joy of faith, which nothing need take away.

The joy of the resurrection is a joy in giving the life we have received from God: ‘Life grows by being given away, and it weakens in isolation and comfort. Indeed, those who enjoy life most are those who leave security on the shore and become excited by the mission of communicating life to others’ (Pope Francis). The Alleluia is for singing, not for humming; it is to be heard from the voice of the heart, and should lift the hearts of those who hear:
‘Jesus Christ is risen. He is risen indeed. Alleluia!’

We often see great joy in the middle of huge poverty: often the poor can live for the present moment and enjoy it to the full. Sometimes in the middle of illness we find a peace we don’t know from where it comes. The grace of the risen Jesus can touch our lives at any time. Let’s not be like Christians ‘whose lives seem like Lent without Easter’ (Pope Francis). Having lived through
the joyful season of Lent, our hearts are wholly lifted now in joy received and joy given.

Breathe in and out: on the inbreath echo the word ‘joy’;
on the outbreath echo the word ‘thanks’.
Risen Christ, raise our lives in joy.

May all the joys of Easter be yours!
Praise the Lord, pass round the Eggs
Christ has risen
Alleluia !

Donal Neary SJ