Embracing the Joy of Easter: Reflections on Lenten Struggles and Resurrection Triumphs

Embracing the Joy of Easter: Reflections on Lenten Struggles and Resurrection Triumphs

As Lent draws to a close, I find myself relieved, and not just because of the promise of Easter Alleluias and indulging in Cadbury dark chocolate eggs. This Lent has been particularly challenging, marked not only by personal struggles but also by the relentless onslaught of distressing news, serving as a stark reminder of the brokenness of our world and our desperate need for salvation.

My Lenten journey this year was fraught with difficulties, largely due to my struggles in keeping my Lenten commitments. While none of these sacrifices were overly burdensome in themselves, the discipline and diligence required to uphold them proved to be a constant challenge.

Without delving into the minutiae of my Lenten tribulations, I found myself repeatedly faltering, particularly when it came to refraining from certain behaviors or utterances. There were moments when slips of the tongue led to lapses in my Lenten promises, leaving me feeling disheartened and frustrated.

Yet amidst the struggles and shortcomings, I am reminded of the profound wisdom of St. John Chrysostom, whose Easter reflections resonate deeply with the human condition. His words, echoing across the centuries, speak of a boundless love and compassion for our flawed humanity.

St. Chrysostom’s Easter homily encapsulates the inclusive nature of the resurrection celebration, inviting all, regardless of their Lenten achievements or failures, to partake in the abundant feast of forgiveness and redemption. His imagery of a richly laden table, where all are welcome to partake, serves as a powerful reminder of the universal grace bestowed upon us through Christ’s sacrifice.

Moreover, St. Chrysostom draws parallels to the parable of the workers in the vineyard, emphasizing the equal reward bestowed upon all, regardless of the timing or extent of their efforts. In the same vein, Easter offers the same reward of salvation to all, irrespective of our individual Lenten journeys.

As we transition from the solemnity of Lent to the joyous celebration of Easter, St. Chrysostom’s message resonates with renewed significance. While Lent serves as a period of reflection and discipline, Easter heralds a time of exuberant rejoicing, as we commemorate the triumph of life over death and the victory of forgiveness over sin.

In light of this, I propose an Easter resolution: let us not allow the significance of Easter to fade into oblivion once the celebrations are over. Just as we dedicated 40 days to the discipline of Lent, let us now dedicate 40 days to the jubilant celebration of Easter.

Let us revel in the delights of the season, indulging in festive foods and expressions of gratitude for the profound blessings bestowed upon us. As we do so, let us bear witness to the enduring hope and joy of Easter, serving as beacons of light in a world desperately in need of redemption.

For there will be other Lents, but there is only one Easter – a singular event that serves as a testament to the promise of salvation and the ultimate triumph of love. Let us, therefore, seize this opportunity to proclaim to the world that despite its trials and tribulations, there is indeed a happy ending to the story – one marked by resurrection, renewal, and unbounded grace.

 

(New Source: Greg Erlandson, OSV News