The risen Jesus is our joy

Jesus’ death and resurrection lead us to an openness and self-emptying
in which we cast out the inordinate attachments that weigh us down.


By Br Ian Cribb SJ, Jesuit and Ignatian Spirituality Australia  

Pope Francis in his 2024 Lenten message began with “When our God reveals himself his message is always one of freedom’. On the first Sunday in Lent, we were reminded that Jesus “was led into the desert by the Spirit in order to be tempted in freedom”. The Easter journey is like the place of the desert where our freedom can mature. Jesus’ death and resurrection have freed us. 
Our journey is not an abstract one. It must be “concrete”, predicated on our capacity to open our eyes to reality – the reality of who we are and what is happening around us. In this way, we are led to an openness and self-emptying in which we cast out the inordinate attachments that weigh us down, the attachments that imprison us. 
On the cross, Jesus speaks with one of the men who is beside him, also on a cross. That dialogue leads to Jesus’ assurance that “This day you will be with me”. Can we hear Jesus say he will be with us in our daily journey? 
When Jesus appears to the disciples in John’s gospel we read, “The doors were closed in the room where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews. Jesus came and stood among them. He said to them ‘Peace be with you’ and showed them his hands and side. The disciples were filled with joy when they saw the Lord’.?The disciples move from “fear” to “joy”. Not from fear to bravery, but joy. A joy that sets them free. And so it is with us: the risen Jesus is our joy, he is our freedom, he is among us. 

Pope Francis in his Easter message said, “Christ is risen; he is truly risen!” In this traditional proclamation of the Churches of the East, the word “truly” reminds us that our hope is not an illusion but a truth! Our journey is now marked by hope and an invitation to an interior freedom. 
May the Joy of the risen Jesus be with you and your loved ones. 

Banner image by geRsweb, Canva.