One Easter, I saw many long and gloomy faces at Mass. “I want to remind you that it’s Easter Sunday,” I announced, “so it’s okay to smile in church!”
There were long faces on Easter in today’s gospel too. When the risen Jesus asked two disciples what they were talking about, “They stopped, looking downcast.”
But let’s not forget what happened next. After they recognized Jesus in the breaking of the bread, the two disciples ran to tell their friends. The risen Jesus had replaced their sadness with joy!
Jesus’ resurrection should also fill us with joy. As
wrote, “A Christian should be
an ‘alleluia’ from head to foot!” It’s for good reason that in the Opening
Prayer for today’s Mass we thanked God for the joy of the resurrection, and asked that the joy of our celebration might bring us the joy of eternal life. St. Augustine
Easter joy doesn’t mean that we ignore life’s real difficulties and problems. But it does mean that we confront them with the assurance that if our God loves us so much that he died and rose for us, then surely he will lead us through our present troubles into his everlasting peace. Mother Teresa once put it very well. “Never let anything cause you so much sorrow,” she said, “that you forget the joy of Jesus risen.”