St Pope John Paul II said "We are an Easter people and Alleluia is our song". We Share how the joy of Easter gives strength in the sufferings of life.

Christ whom I encounter in my everyday life is not a historical figure who once walked upon the earth, but a God who died on the cross personally for me – who rose from the dead and who lives even today. This immense joy of Easter opens my eyes of faith to see my Lord daily in my Personal Prayer, Word of God, Holy Mass, frequent Eucharistic adorations and confession. During a phase of life where I was discerning to know whether I was doing the Lord’s will regarding the man I was to marry, I would tearfully place my anxieties before Him. In times of fear, confusion & loneliness, He filled me with hope and courage, and above all, His ever-abiding sense of peace and love. The Lord took me by my hand and walked me from hurt to healing, from fear to faith, from tears to joy.

Ashley Johnson, Ireland

For me, Easter was about going to Mass and having dinner with family and friends until I decided to dig deeper and discover what it’s really all about. It’s a time of hope, a joyful season, to celebrate Christ’s victory over sin and death! Even at times when I feel down, it’s this realisation of the Triumph that energises me, making me really want to sing out, ‘ALLELUIA!!’ The great news is that it’s not only one day of the year that can give us this joy – but every Sunday Worship we take part in, each week. Now I know how to CELEBRATE Easter and how to face my problems using this JOY!!

Neena Thomas, Ireland

The twists and turns of our lives often push us to the edge of our resources and wits. Thanks be to God, the empty cross is no longer the sign of suffering, but of the resurrection and His victory over death. The ultimate battle belongs to the Lord and my life in Him gives me the strength to face my today with a smile, trusting in His providence to take me through.

Ajjo John, Mumbai, India

“The cross, symbol of the ultimate suffering on earth is now the new sign of hope. When we make the sign of the cross, we are proclaiming our eternal union”.The idea of finding joy in suffering, although I could see it in the lives of many saints, was something I failed to experience or even understand. However one day – filled with the usual confusions and worries of life, I was in our university chapel when the above words broke into my heart. It was at that moment I recognized the underlying love of the Trinity at the most horrific and painful moment of our Messiah’s life – the cross. Even today, when I have to endure little sufferings, a glance at the cross reminds me of the great love that binds us all together with the Holy Trinity. It is this unity that brings forth springs of joy in the midst of sufferings.

Jesvin Jimmy, Ireland

Hope is important. Only if there is suffering can there be hope. And we can overcome all suffering when hope exists. When I was 16, my father died and I was the eldest of the family and the responsibility of my family came on my shoulders. This was a difficult time. I went for a retreat soon after where I had an encounter experience, and God revealed to me that He was my father. From that moment I had hope and despite the hard situation I could look forward with confidence. No Good Friday, No Easter.

Jacob, Canberra, Australia