Oh Happy Day

One of my favorite gospel songs is that of Oh Happy Day, written by Edwin Hawkins based on an 18th century hymn. To me it sounds of victory and of great joy. In fact, this song is what wakes me up every morning whether I am joyful or not. Because of the events of the past week, we are the Easter people, and Hallelujah is our song. We suffered with Jesus on the Way to Calvary, and now we have the promise of being raised to new life in the Resurrection. Though I held so much joy in my heart on Easter Sunday, the events of the day were not necessarily the happy ending to Lent I had been hoping for.

All day there were little things that went wrong: a tuff with a family member, not eating with our whole family because of the time of the mass we attended, and the loss of a golden earing given to me by my late godmother. In all these things, however, there is still great joy to be found. Today, a supposed beautiful day in the Easter season, was a day I couldn’t wait to be rid of. Yet there is still great joy to be found.

Easter Sunday the four of us made it to mass five minutes before it began, a precious gift for all of us. We spent the rest of the day going from one family’s house to the next, visiting my great grandmother at the nursing home, and then enjoying relaxing and playing games with my boyfriend in the evening. At every house there was joy to be found, even amid unexpected tensions in some cases.

Today I went to Journalism Day at the University of Missouri. My acquaintances may not have been ideal, but I had a nice conversation with a person I barely knew before, and I learned at least one thing in even the silliest session we went to.

My point in all of this is that in this life we are never promised happy endings. The joy of Easter is not guaranteed to our every day lives for the next fifty days. The joy of Easter is that Jesus Christ has opened the gates of heaven to every single one of us. The joy is that the “ordinary” trials and joys of this life can lead us to heaven in the next. The joy is that death “‘no longer has dominion’ (Rom 6:9) over Jesus, it has no more power over us, either, who belong to Jesus” (YOUCAT: Youth Catechism of the Catholic Church). The joy is the hope given to us by such statements.

I pray the this Easter Season your eyes are opened to the ordinary. I pray that you actively seek the joy and hope of the Resurrection in your every day life. I pray that you are surprised by the capacity hope has to transform even the most dismal, stormy days, and that you see God’s hand in everything.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s