As this picture, the Easter Tree of Life by contemporary artist Jonathan Smith shows, when we begin the Easter season, we do not forget the Cross. Rather, we see Jesus’ Cross and our own in a new light, the light that was kindled in the darkness of the Easter Vigil and shines out in the Paschal Candle throughout this season.
Like the disciples, we recognise the Risen Jesus because he still bears in his body the marks of the five wounds, to his hands, feet and side, wounds which are now glorified and displayed for the adoration of the saints and angels in heaven.
This enables us to hope that our own sufferings have meaning, our own wounds may be glorified when united with his. This hope is like a coin with two sides: on one side, we remember that nothing of lasting value will be achieved without sacrifice and prayer; on the other, we believe that our sufferings and trials can be the means of real change coming into the world, often in ways we do not know.
Of course, none of this means we shouldn’t enjoy plenty of chocolate here and now! A very Happy Easter to you all!