Graduation cap and gown always give us such joy of triumph. The day of graduation brings to an end years of pain, of deprivation of sleep, sacrifice, and commitment to studies. It is the crowning day on which the past sufferings are paid off. I remember when I arrived in Rome to study. I studied the Italian language only two and half months and began class. I could not follow the classes as I would have loved to. I would spend hours translating the teachers’ notes into English in order to understand. As for the exams, I would prepare them in English and translate my preparation into Italian to be able to write them. The first five years were so stressful, that I could not go home until those five years passed. But after seven years of intensive study, I graduated. At the graduation party, all the sufferings and stress of the past seven years were totally forgotten.

Hebrew 12:2 says: “Let us not lose sight of Jesus, who leads us in our faith and brings it to perfection; for the sake of the joy which was still in the future, he endured the cross, disregarding the shamefulness of it, and from now on has taken his place at the right of God’s throne”. Easter is the glorious crown of Our Lord; it is the crown of hope in the midst of desolation and pain. The Resurrection of Jesus is an event with cosmic implications: all the pains, sufferings and death we experience in this life are not useless, as long as we focus our eyes on Jesus Christ, the First fruits of those who are asleep (1 Cor. 15:20). Easter is joy; it is jubilation, for the universe is not a blind chance of events, but a purposeful reality in the hand of God.

Easter celebration shows the power of love. Only love can overcome evil, injustice and hate. Love, persevering love, can transform any situation and lead us to life and meaning. True love drives out fear and despair; it is that love which comes from above, that can disperse the dark clouds of gloom that sometimes oppresses the human spirit. Easter is life; it is the crown of glory; the bold affirmation that in death is life, so that children of God can shout Alleluia because their Lord is alive.

We too can sing alleluia in our lives, especially when we remember that the Risen Lord is there for us all the time, especially those moments when we feel down in the throes of life; when we feel disorientated, abandoned, uncared for, and displaced. He is Risen! May the power of the Risen Lord permeate our lives, our families and communities so we can live in joy and gladness, with the strength to overcome the obstacles we meet in life. HAPPY EASTER TO YOU!