Let me begin this letter by wishing everyone a happy and blessed Easter. May the peace of the risen Lord be with all of you and your families. May he bless all of you, and may his face shine upon you.
When I think about Easter, I am always moved to think about the Second Coming. I think about living with Jesus forever. I think about a perfect world. I think about peace, happiness, perfect health, and no more death. I think about all these things because Jesus’ resurrection has made eternal life with him possible. He has opened the gates of heaven, and we are all invited to join him!
Don’t get me wrong. I like living here on earth. I have a beautiful family and many wonderful friends. I am happy, and I enjoy every day God gives to me. But at the same time, I know that this world is not my home. I long for Jesus to come again—as soon as possible! I put my hope in him every day, and especially during the Easter season.
In this issue of The Word Among Us, we want to encourage you to put your hope in the Lord until he comes in glory. That means trusting in God both when things are going well and when they are not.
He Ran the Race. Recently, Paul Engelmann, the chairman of the board of The Word Among Us, died after a long bout with cancer. He was too young to die. Some might say that Paul was dealt a bad hand, but that would be only part of the story.
Paul was a wonderful brother in the Lord—always encouraging me and always pointing me to Christ. His death reminded me of the way Pope John Paul II lived his own last days: full of dignity, full of hope, finishing the race, ready to meet Jesus. Even when he was in the greatest pain, or when a medical test produced bad news, Paul never complained. He knew that his body was giving out, but his hope in Jesus and the resurrection never diminished. Paul understood the meaning of Easter.
Paul won the race, and he is in heaven now. He loved The Word Among Us readers and prayed for all of you daily. Now you have another friend in heaven. I can just imagine him going to Jesus every day and saying: "Lord, bless all of our readers. Show them your glory. Fill them with the hope of the resurrection."
So if you feel you are facing some sort of hopeless situation, try to follow Paul’s example. Put your hope in Jesus. Trust him. Jesus said he will be with us until the end of time. Life may or may not turn out the way we like, but that’s not the most important issue. What’s more important is that Jesus knows your situation and he feels your suffering. He will never let you down. He will always walk with you, no matter what road you are on.