Easter Hope Abounds

EDITORIAL: Even in the darkest and most chaotic moments of human history, Christ’s victory over evil is being made manifest, if only we have eyes to see.

Register illustration by Melissa Hartog
Register illustration by Melissa Hartog (photo: Image sources: Carl H. Bloch, 1875, ‘The Resurrection of Christ,’ and Shutterstock)
He is risen! Alleluia! 

Jesus has conquered death once and for all, opening the doors to eternal life for all who follow him. And yet, like the disciples on that first Easter Sunday, it can be difficult for us to detect the presence of the Risen Lord in our midst. 

For, like the first disciples, we can become more accustomed to seeing the darkness, chaos and confusion that exist around us. 

Like Mary Magdalene at the empty tomb, we need the Lord to reveal himself to us, to show us his presence. And when he does, we see through eyes of faith that the signs of Easter hope abound. 

Jesus tells us that his kingdom is not of this world, and yet he has already inaugurated it here below. “Behold, the Kingdom of God is in the midst of you” (Luke 17:21). 

The cornerstone of the New Jerusalem has already been established on this earth, and we can detect the presence of the Kingdom, the “sound tree,” by the good fruit that it bears (Matthew 7:16). 

Where are these good fruits, these livings signs of Easter hope today?

Many of them are right here, in our own backyard: a movement across the country to make our Catholic schools more welcoming to those with disabilities; a simple practice in Minnesota of bringing our Eucharistic Lord to the State Capitol, so Catholics can pray for their government; or even a story of how one simple but specifically aimed Hail Mary by a Pittsburgh jogger can be an opening to Christ’s saving power. These everyday instances of hope all highlight the transformative, life-giving power of Christ at work around us. We even find Easter hope in places like Ireland and Germany, once lands of stalwart Catholicism where faith is today in crisis but small movements of living hope and renewal are already beginning to blossom. 

These powerful signs remind us that Christ is the light that shines in the darkness, “and the darkness has not overcome it” (John 1:5). 

With steadfast hope, let us look to the light of Easter, which endures.

Just as the Risen Christ met the two disciples, distraught at the events of Good Friday, on the road to Emmaus and was recognized by them in the breaking of the bread, there are thousands of men and women who will become members of the Catholic Church this Easter, recognizing Christ in the Eucharistic Bread — and receiving him there for the very first time. 

And just like the disciples at the supper at Emmaus who felt their hearts burning with anticipation before their Eucharistic meal with Christ, each one of us has the opportunity to receive Our Lord anew this Easter — and to be reminded that our lives are forever changed by his gift. Join us, then, in seeking out those living signs of Christ’s love and glory, the hope that “does not disappoint” (Romans 5:5). 

The victory is won. It’s time to show the world.

Happy Easter!

LyLena Estabine, a junior at Harvard University, is in the OCIA program at St. Paul’s Catholic Church in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and plans to join the Church at the Easter Vigil on April 8.

Harvard Student Finds Her Answers in the Catholic Church

The Church’s teaching on Mary and the Eucharist were the two biggest hurdles for 21-year-old LyLena Estabine in accepting the Catholic faith. Ahead of her full entrance into the Catholic Church, Estabine, who is also consecrated to Mary, said she expects to shed tears when receiving Holy Communion for the first time.