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April 22, 2014
Oriana Bertucci

Each spring, the chocolate makers, flower shopkeepers and greeting card writers perfect their Easter campaigns, hoping to draw in consumers and exceed the previous year’s profits. Surrounded with temptations, Christians sometimes forget, that we are invited to participate in a different kind of campaign, a spiritual one, called Lent.

For 40 days, we fast, we pray and we give our time, talents and treasure to our communities. The Lenten journey calls us to simplify our lives from material goods and let Jesus fill the longing in our hearts. Like the road to Calvary, the journey to Easter can challenge us.  We may encounter unexpected obstacles and sometimes, we even fall along the way and break our Lenten promises. But our God is a God of mercy, of forgiveness and compassion. When we stumble, He is there to meet us, like Simon of Cyrene who helps Jesus carry the cross.

My mother is an avid gardener. She waits all winter for the first tulips to poke through the frozen ground after a long winter. She diligently removes all the twigs and leaves that have collected under the snow and prepares the ground for her beloved flowers to bloom. Similarly, we anticipate Easter and prepare our hearts for the Good News of the Resurrection.

The hope that Jesus brings to all of us is found in his resurrection on Easter. We must never forget that we are Easter people! St. Paul reminds us “The love of Christ urges us on!” (2 Cor 5:14) When we face difficult moments in life, we learn from our experiences and we are changed. We clear away the weeds and make room for newness. This is the promise that Jesus brings on Easter: His death brings new life.  The joy of the Resurrection is more fully complete when we have known the pain of death, of struggle or of loss. This is the human experience we have all encountered: messy, confusing and lonely, and we must first experience the passion of Good Friday in order to appreciate the promise of Easter.

As we welcome the first signs of spring, let us rejoice in the journey that has led us to Easter. Let us look forward with hope and live our Alleluia throughout the Easter season.  


“This I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” (Lam 3:21-23)

 

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Oriana Bertucci is the Director of Campus Ministry for Ryerson Catholics, an outreach initiative of the Archdiocese of Toronto, which supports the students, staff and faculty of Ryerson University. 



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