We have now entered holy week and your probably counting down the days until Easter.  I am.  And dreading the fast on Good Friday.  I hear ya.  We long for happiness and life.  No one enjoys pain.  That is why we desire Easter and dread Good Friday.  Even though we aren’t upon the cross in excruciating pain like our Lord years ago, we have little inconveniences: gnawing hunger, long and boring days, an undecorated church.  Celebration is fun and joyful and our human soul constantly yearns for happiness.  But Jesus couldn’t have risen from the dead if he didn’t die first.  He had to undergo the humiliation, exhaustion, and agonizing pain so we can experience beautiful life in Christ, new life through baptism, and everlasting life in Heaven.  But in order to experience this life to the fullest we have to do our part by happily enduring the trials and pain of this world.  This week won’t be easy.  It will seem like an eternity till Easter, but we are called to unite our sufferings with Jesus on the cross.  Jesus understands your pain and wants you to join him, with your cross, on the walk to Calvary.  This is a time to not only remember Jesus’ death and resurrection, but also a time to remember that in dying to ourselves Christ allows us to share in the joy of His resurrection. Don’t let this week go by in a blur.  Let’s embrace our sufferings so that through our sacrifices, our Easter experience will be more joyful and our gaze will be turned toward Heaven.