When my parents first moved to Vermont their neighbor responded when asked about springtime saying, “…spring in Vermont is interesting” meaning winter has the tendency to hold its grip far into the “spring” season.

There is a struggle that we must come to admit. A struggle between life and death; we see it in the smallest of things; the crocus that springs up only to be crushed by spring snow. The strengthening sunshine begins to warm the earth only to be chilled by the return of an arctic blast. April holds so much promise in Northern New England yet so often the flame of spring is snuffed out by an ice storm of freezing rain.

There is a battle waging in life on the tiniest level. We see this by grass of small plants pushing their way up through broken pavement. We see this in the battle between life and death with the corona virus. This year, the strangest of all years, there is a struggle also between life and death. Not only against Covid-19, that’s just a horrible symbol of a far more tragic loss, the loss of the human soul in the fight against sin. Sin and death want to win. The devil, who hates humanity, wants to prevail. Yet even he knows this is futile. Nothing trumps God. Jesus Christ is God’s trump card.

Why the struggle, why the battle, why the suffering? Simply because God wants us to realize how horrible sin is and it’s cost to humanity, how it creates mayhem, how it causes pain, how it distorts and disfigures the beautiful creation, not only the earth around us but the human person made in the image and likeness of God. It must be a struggle.

The beauty of the resurrection we celebrate came at a cost: the passion, the suffering and death of Our Lord. If we forget the suffering we cannot appreciate or understand its glory.

The rising of Christ from the dead is not a magic trick to be performed to entertain, neither is the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.

Many of us wonder this year why had the Mass been taken from us? Why are we suffering this loss? Many say after the scourge of Covid-19 why was my loved one taken from me? Yet the most appropriate question is why did Jesus have to die? The disciples must have asked the question, “Why was Jesus taken from us?” It’s a battle.

Everything was looking so positive to the followers of Christ. It looked like they were on the verge of succeeding to make Israel great again, the bottom falls out. Why? God wants us to value life. He wants us to value holiness. He wants us to freely choose to follow Him

and the only way He can assist us without forcing us is to reveal how ugly, devastating and brutal sin is in our lives.

We have been in a time of revealing for the past few years and interestingly this year Our Lord is showing us the ravages of sin in the world, in the government, our educational system, in the entertainment industry and in the Church. Sin is devastating.

So the struggle continues. In Northern New England, the struggle of spring over winter continues. In the world the struggle of humanity against Covid-19 continues. In the human heart and soul the struggle over sin and death continues.

There’s only one way to win the battle. There is only one way to overcome sin, there is only one way to receive eternal life in peace and total fulfillment after this life, and that way is a person who had the audacity, fueled by love while He was living on this earth, to claim He is the Way, the Truth and the Life; He is the Resurrection, Jesus Christ, Our Savior, Our Messiah, Our Lord; the very Son of the living God.