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Sarah Pedrozo celebrates the new life of Jesus’ Resurrection by noticing two places this life shines forth. 

The Octave of Easter is truly a time for great rejoicing.  Not only is the long, hard, trek of Lent behind us, but now we celebrate the Resurrection of the Lord!  Suffering, sin and death no longer have the last word. We believe that Jesus’ dying and rising makes it possible for us, too, to experience new life, not just in the next life but also here, now, albeit in smaller ways. I would like to share two places where I’ve seen this Easter life, exemplified in the lives of people I know.  


 A Willingness to Forgive  

One of the most powerful witnesses to the new life promised at Easter is lived daily by my friend, Sherry. Sherry is in her 60s and is upbeat, fond of sparkles, and greets everyone with a giant smile.  You’d never know just how deeply life has hurt her. She is a convert to Catholicism, and shared with me just how much she depends on Jesus to uphold her every day. “I don’t think I could get out of bed without His help,” she tells me.  

It seems that one of Sherry’s sons made a series of unwise choices during his life, so that he, his wife, their 10-year-old  daughter and 8-month-old baby ended up being the target of criminals in the drug trade. Apparently wanting to scare Sherry’s son and get him to repay the money he owed, one of these criminals set fire to their house.  Sherry’s son and his wife escaped, but the two children did not.  Heartbreakingly, the 10-year-old died while trying to save the infant.   

The arsonist was caught, tried and convicted.  He was sentenced to life in jail. Where is the new life in this tragic tale?  It’s in Sherry.  She told me she was so happy to hear that the criminal was given a life-sentence, instead of a death sentence. 

“I can’t forgive him for what he did,” she told me.  “But I know where he is.  Maybe, and I mean maybe, one day I’ll be able to forgive, and then perhaps I could even visit him.  His life-sentence gives me time.  I’m willing to try, if God helps me.” Astonishingly, this is only one of the deep sufferings Sherry has gone through. I believe her when she says Jesus helps her get out of bed every day. Her willingness to try to forgive, to live her life with joy, is a sign of Jesus’ Easter life, stirring within. 




A Willingness to Wait  

My phone rang at 11 AM.  It was my son, a high-school senior. Knowing he was at his job at the grocery store, I answered immediately.    

“Mom,” he said, his voice cracking a little. “Josh just died.”  

Oh. Waves of sadness washed over me as he said he’d just received a group email, sent to all his high-school class, giving them the news.  

We knew Josh and his family well. He and my son had grown up together, and his parents had been catechists for me for years. His dad was a regular and enthusiastic choir member. Their son, Josh, was a well-liked classmate, who had been looking forward to leaving high school and venturing on to college and beyond. Then, around Christmas of his senior year, Josh didn’t feel well. A few days in bed turned into several weeks in hospital. Each week brought more weakness and bad news. Finally, his parents were told to do the unthinkable: to prepare for a funeral instead of a graduation.  

I didn’t see Josh’s family for several months after his funeral. This once active and involved family was absent from church life.  Then, one day, they were back. I looked up at Mass and recognized his father, in his place in the choir.  They gradually started attending parish events again. When I spoke to Josh’s mother later, she said they realized they had a choice. “We could be angry at God for taking Josh or we could believe in His promises. Anger and sadness got us nowhere. But we decided to hang onto the promises. It’s not the life we would have chosen, but I know we will meet again. This isn’t the end.”

This family’s willingness to wait and believe that Jesus’ Resurrection will also happen to them and their son, that they will be reunited in joy one day, is a sign of Easter life.  




A willingness to forgive and a willingness to wait are two places where I see the new life of Christ.  What about you?  Where do you see signs of Easter in your life?  


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Copyright 2024 Sarah Pedrozo
Images: Canva