Almighty God and Father, through Your only-begotten Son, Jesus Christ, You have overcome death and opened the gate of everlasting life to us. Grant that we, who celebrate with joy the day of our Lord’s resurrection, may be raised from the death of sin by Your life-giving Spirit; through Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.
We were all rather glum. The doctor had told us the bad news. Our friend’s condition was inoperable. The cancer had spread too far. There was really very little that could be done. She was dying. Her skin already had that strange pallor that dying people get sometimes.
But my friend was not sad, she was the only one in the room who smiled. She was prepared to walk through that gate of everlasting life. Her difficult life was drawing to a close. Her eternal bliss and cancer-free life was laid out before her. She was happy.
At the root of that happiness was trust. Jesus had made a promise to her in Baptismal water, a promise renewed at every sacramental meal, in countless sermons, absolutions, and other encounters with God’s Word. The Jesus who lived and died so long ago, had lived and died for her. His death and resurrection included her. She trusted that, and she was glad. We celebrate with joy the day of our Lord’s resurrection and the promise of our own resurrection.