The Word Among Us

Prayer Resources

Living in the Joy of the Resurrection

The Easter Event Pervades the Life of the whole Church.

By: Pope St. John Paul II

Living in the Joy of the Resurrection: The Easter Event Pervades the Life of the whole Church. by Pope St. John Paul II

The Easter event—the bodily resurrection of Christ—pervades the life of the whole Church.

It gives to Christians everywhere strength at every turn in life. It makes us sensitive to humanity with all its limitations, sufferings, and needs. The resurrection has immense power to liberate, to uplift, to bring about justice, to effect holiness, to cause joy.

In a true sense, joy is the keynote of the Christian message. My wish is that the Christian message may bring joy to all who open their hearts to it. . . . Faith is our source of joy. We believe in a God who created us so that we might enjoy human happiness—in some measure on earth, in its fullness in heaven.

We are meant to have our human joys: the joy of living, the joy of love and friendship, the joy of work well done. We who are Christians have a further cause for joy: Like Jesus, we know that we are loved by God our Father. This love transforms our lives and fills us with joy. It makes us see that Jesus did not come to lay burdens upon us. He came to teach us what it means to be fully happy and fully human. Therefore, we discover joy when we discover truth—the truth about God our Father, the truth about Jesus our Savior, the truth about the Holy Spirit who lives in our hearts.

We all have been called to accept this joy in our lives. It is given to us again each day in the Eucharist, in which the paschal mystery is renewed: in a sacramental, mystical way the sacrifice of Christ is made present with its culmination in the mystery of the resurrection. The life of grace, which we carry within us, is the life of the risen Christ. Consequently, through grace, a joy beats within us, and nothing can take it away. As Jesus promised his disciples: “Your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy away from you” (John 16:22).

This is an excerpt from an April 21, 1979 homily given by Pope John Paul II.