This year has been one of struggling to rise up; rising up above negativity, stress, worry, doubt, and often fear. The story of Easter parallels our lives in incredible ways this year. While we cannot compare our difficulties to the agony of Christ, this year has indeed challenged our hearts. As Easter approaches and we feel the sorrow that comes from the knowledge of the death of Jesus, we must remember the joy that will follow. In difficult times, experiences of joy cannot be overlooked or diminished. The words of Luke, He is not here; He has risen! is one of the most joyful verses we can experience. Let us celebrate this Easter season with the hope that comes from the risen Lord.
As we celebrate Easter, the greatest focus is on the Resurrection, which of course is one of the most important tenets of our faith, in our salvation through Jesus’ death and Resurrection. I would encourage you to also take time and reflect on Jesus’ journey to the Resurrection. The way Jesus chose to follow God’s path and accept his fate teaches us the true meaning of following the path of righteousness. Jesus, with the knowledge of the difficulties that would lie ahead, made the choice to continue demonstrating the love of God. We see his humility in riding the humble donkey into Jerusalem and quietly looking for a room to celebrate Passover. We see his forgiveness as he breaks bread knowing the disciples would turn away from him. We witness his service in the washing of the disciple’s feet. Even when faced with death, Jesus chose to react, not in anger but with compassion saying, Father, forgive them.
For us and especially for our children, Jesus’ choices to continue in love, compassion, and forgiveness even in the face of death provide us the example we need for our own lives. Each day we will face challenges, some small, but some that are seemingly insurmountable. The story of Jesus’ death and Resurrection shows us that God’s grace is always present. As Jesus was man, he was presented with choices, as we are. We can choose to turn away from God in our actions or we can choose to follow the path of the Lord. With the acceptance of God’s grace, we can choose to follow His path. As we read the Passion this Holy Week, ask yourself and ask your children, “How will I show compassion today?” “How can I serve others as Jesus washing the feet of the disciples?” “What burdens am I carrying that can be released through forgiveness?”
The choices we make enable us to walk with Jesus. Let us celebrate this Easter season with compassion, forgiveness, and love. This has been a challenging year and making such choices are often difficult but, in these actions, we are preparing our hearts to embrace the joys that lie ahead. Engage with your children in reading the Gospel. Celebrate the ways you have walked the path of the Lord together. Above all, embrace the hope and joy that comes from the Risen Lord. We have been delivered from the darkness and will stand in the light of Christ.
Wishing you a Blessed and Joyous Easter!
Thomas Chadzutko, Ed.D.
Superintendent ~ Catholic School Support Services