What we give up or possibly add as a Lenten observation often times weighs on us. It can be hard. But there is a light at the end of the tunnel, or a celebration at the end of the suffering in Easter. If we focus on the suffering, it may seem overwhelming. But what did Jesus do throughout His suffering? He was focused on Easter.
When Jesus speaks of His suffering and death in the Gospels, He always mentions the Resurrection. It is the suffering that gets us to Easter. Indeed, Easter is all the more sweeter because of the suffering. Not that the suffering is what makes it good, but the now lack of suffering after the Resurrection.
Sure, we still suffer after Easter Sunday each year. Indeed, we probably endure some suffering on Easter Sunday as well. But our resurrection has not come. Our suffering will remain until we experience our Easter joy of Heaven. Lent is not about suffering. It is merely a period of suffering pointing to Easter. There is good reason that the Easter season (50 days) is longer than Lent (40 days).
We need to see past our sufferings and look to our Easter joy. Whether our sufferings are from our Lenten observance or any sufferings we endure. If we can look past our sufferings, indeed we will have a joy no one can take from us. Jesus’ words at the Last Supper. “So you also are now in anguish. But I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy away from you.” – [John 16:22]
Jesus, help us to see past our sufferings to the eternal joy You want to give us with You in Heaven.