Easter 2020: A Time of Light and Joy

In my prayer and spiritual reading this week, I felt God asking me to focus on two things this Easter: Light and Joy.

Of all times, how could God want me to focus on “light” and “joy?” We are in the midst of a pandemic which has taken many lives, shut down the economy and worst of all, our churches. It is a tremendous pain for me to have to lock the Basilica gates.

So why “light,” and “joy?”


When God created the world, the very first thing He created was light. Without light, nothing would survive. Without light, there would be total darkness.

Before Christ was crucified, He told everyone, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness but will have the light of life,” (John 8:12).

As Right Rev. Dom Prosper Gueranger (former Abbott of Solesmes) once said, “The Incarnate Word [Jesus Christ] rose on the first day of the week—that same day—whereon, four thousand years before, He, the Uncreated Word of the Father, had begun the work on the Creation, by calling forth light and separating it from darkness. The first day was thus ennobled by the creation of light.”

If creation began with light, Jesus’ Resurrection marks the new creation. The material Sun conquered the darkness of the cosmos. The Light of the World, Jesus, rose from the grave and conquered the darkness of death. If material life could not survive without the light of the sun, spiritual life cannot survive without the light of the Son—who is the Way, the Truth and the Life.

All life is sustained by Jesus. And pandemic or no pandemic, we are sustained by Him. We have access to His teachings in the Word. We have access to the Light through prayer. And very soon, we will have access again to His Light in the sacraments of the Catholic Church—the vehicle which He established to radiate His Light to the ends of the world.

We are NOT in darkness. Christ, the Light of the World, has risen. He has dispelled all darkness. And His light cannot be overcome.


Joy is the fruit of union with God. Joy is not dependent on health or sickness, peace or war, riches or poverty. Joy is the result of being united with the One we love the most.

With the exception of sin, nothing can separate us from God, can it? St. Paul said it very plainly in his letter to the Church of Rome:

“What will separate us from the love of Christ? Will anguish, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or the sword?”


For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor present things, nor future things, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:35)

This is the cause of our Joy: Union with God!

Speaking of joy, Cardinal Raymond Burke wrote this on his Web site on April 8 of this year:

“Some days ago, a young adult Catholic said to me, as if it were a matter of logical fact, that he would not be celebrating Easter this year because of the coronavirus. If the joy of our Easter celebration were simply a matter of good feelings, then I understand his sentiment. But the joy of Easter is rooted in eternal truth, the victory of Christ over what clearly looked like his annihilation, the victory won in His human nature for the sake of the same victory in our human nature, no matter what hardships we may be suffering. If we believe in Christ, if we trust in His promises, then we must celebrate with joy His great work of the Redemption. To celebrate the mysteries of Christ’s Passion, Death and Resurrection is not to lack respect for the suffering of so many during the present time but to recognize that Christ is with us to overcome our sufferings with His love. Our celebration is a beacon of hope for those whose lives are severely tried and invites them to place their trust in Our Lord.”

Yes! Our joy in Christ must radiate now more than ever! We are not living for this world. We are living to be united with Christ for all eternity. Union with God is the source of our joy. No virus can destroy that. It is our joy that will lead others to union with Christ. And thus Easter continues to win souls even in a time of pandemic.

Happy Easter. Praise be Jesus Christ!

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With houses of worship currently closed across much of the nation, the editors of the Baltimore Post-Examiner are inviting an array of spiritual teachers to share insights from the ages along with words of comfort and encouragement. These timely messages are not exclusive to any particular faith walk and will be included in our ongoing Spirituality series.

One thought on “Easter 2020: A Time of Light and Joy

  • April 12, 2020 at 10:27 AM

    Thanks Tony!

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