Christ is risen! Alleluia! We have entered into the great and joyful season of Easter. It is a time of re-birth and hope as we live the Resurrection. We rest in the truth and wonder that sin and death are conquered by Jesus Christ and that all things are being made new. Even in this great joy, there are many of us who are still in a period of waiting. While God renews the face of the earth, we must still live in a Fallen world. Our joy is often tinged with uncertainty and suffering. It is indeed possible to feel joy and sorrow at the same time. Joy contains within it the sting of homesickness as God reminds us that this is not our final home. Beauty is often mingled with heart-break as our souls soar towards Heaven, but still await the Beatific Vision. How do we live our joy and our waiting?
Rest in the Word of God.
Many of us are waiting on the Lord to act or respond in a certain area of our lives. It may be a cancer diagnosis, desire for a child or parent to return to or enter the Church, a new job, a relationship, infertility, or any other number of situations. My husband and I are waiting, patiently and not so patiently, on God’s will in adoption. The joy of the Easter season can contain within it, periods of the Cross. We can rest assured in this period of waiting that God is conforming us to Himself and drawing us close.
Since it is Easter and the celebration of the reason for our hope, meditating on the Word of God is critical. Take time to read the Resurrection accounts in the Gospels. Imagine being at the tomb on that first Easter morning. Walk with the Apostles as they meet the risen Lord. Hear the Lord call you by name, as He did St. Mary Magdalene. We must allow the Word of God to permeate our souls as we wait for answers. Meditating on the Resurrection allows God to fill our hearts with the joy of Easter.
Pray without ceasing.
We are called to trust in God. Remember that we killed God and nailed Him to the Cross and He came back in forgiving love to redeem each one of us. He loves each one of us and everything He does is for our own good and sanctification. Keeping this truth in mind allows us to turn to Him in every aspect of our daily lives. We must learn to breathe out prayers every moment of the day. It can be as simple as speaking the name of Jesus or offering up the dishes for our prayer intention or the needs of others. In moments when our waiting seems overwhelming, we need to turn to Our Lord in prayer. He knows the needs and wants deep within our hearts, but He wants us to ask for them. We can speak openly with Him, even in our struggles and frustrations. He wants to draw close to us and to fill our hearts with the joy of Easter, even in our waiting.
Attend Mass as much as possible.
Daily Mass can transform our lives. Busy schedules make it difficult to get to Mass every single day, but adding in a Mass or two each week will help strengthen us in our waiting and enkindle the joy of the Easter season in our hearts. In periods of waiting, the best place to be is before the Real Presence. If Mass is not an option–except on Sundays—stop by a Catholic Church near your work or home and pray before the Tabernacle. Sit in silence for a few minutes with Our Lord, so that He can minister to you through the Blessed Sacrament.
Read the lives of the saints.
The lives of the saints provide a cornucopia of spiritual insights and wisdom. Each saint is a unique person who was conformed to the Blessed Trinity. They had their struggles, their periods of waiting, and the joy of the risen Lord in their hearts. Reading the lives of the saints helps strengthen us on the way. In reading about their lives and their written works, we are able to turn to these friends for guidance. They walked the path before us and now they intercede for us in Heaven. They are cheering us on as we grow in holiness. We need good and holy friends as we wait in joyful hope. Oftentimes their struggles are similar to our own. God has given us these special friends to strengthen us on the journey.
Easter is the season of intense joy and celebration. It is the Cross in light of the Resurrection that has set us free from sin and death. Even in this joy, many of us continue to wait on Our Lord. We must find ways to unite our own struggles with the joy of this season. The Church provides invaluable resources to us on our journey. The Word of God, the Sacraments, prayer, and the lives the holy men and women who have gone before us can provide refuge and strengthen us in this period of waiting in the light of the Resurrection. We can rest assured that God is sanctifying each one of us and drawing us close to Him as we wait in joyful hope.
Behold, I make all things new.
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