Happy Easter! I am especially thankful that this day is so much more than what the culture says it is ie…hopping bunnies, eggs and candy. We are here for our Resurrected Lord, who died and gave himself up so we can live lives free from the bondage of sin and its effects.

Today is a day to celebrate the Good News and joy of Easter day, but for many of us (I know for at least myself) we come to this day with an awareness of our imperfections, confusion, constant busyness and fatigue. Some of you may not be feeling the joy, and may instead be gifted with a heavy and/or broken heart. Whether there is joy in your heart or brokenness during this time, you have a loving and merciful God with a community of believers who understand. Whether you are Mary Magdalene with the joy of finding Jesus alive at the Tomb, or His sorrowful Mother who mourns the death of her Son.

Personally, this past Lent was good, but not all that I wanted it to be. Finishing a master’s degree doesn’t take into account having the Best Lent Ever! I attempted both, and I have to say only one took fruit (I’ll be blessed to finish my Master’s degree in Theology in May! God willing). I also learned this Lent that I want God’s plan for me… to be my way. For some reason, I constantly fall into thinking and acting in my life as if I’ve got this whole life thing in control. Thank you God, but I’ve got this! As many of you know a lot more than I do, this isn’t how a personal friendship with Jesus works, or how God’s plan works. We cannot live our lives on our own. The more we try, the more help/guidance/support we need. Whether that mission is to have a greater role with a particular friend or family member’s life, or building a particular project, whatever it is, God doesn’t want us to do it alone. Jesus didn’t sacrifice himself out of love on the cross so that you could live your lives on your own and say, “hey no worries God, I’ve got this.”

Jesus gave himself up as a gift of love for us, and in Him we find a model to discover our true selves.

As St. John Paul II states in Theology of the Body, the only way we can come to find our self is through authentic gift of self. So bringing this all together, I realized this Easter I am never going to do anything on my own. I can never do anything on my own, but be open to what He is going to do in me. Whether it be in joy or through sorrow, Jesus seeks to do great things in you, right here and now. He was resurrected from the most humiliating death in human history, and gave us Himself as a model of how to give our lives as gifts. Today let’s reflect on how Jesus is calling you to resurrect your heart and life?