The great gift of Easter is hope -- Christian hope which makes us have that confidence in God, in his ultimate triumph, and in his goodness and love, which nothing can shake.

-- Basil Hume, 1923-99, Cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church

For more than 2,000 years, Christians worldwide have celebrated the resurrection of their Savior, Jesus Christ, on Easter Sunday. It was a miracle, one people needed on that third day after Christ was put to death on the cross.

The time between Christmas, which celebrates the birth of Christ, and Easter creates a more somber, reflective frame of mind. Many choose to make sacrifices during the Lenten season.

The renewal and rebirth, sunshine and warmth that symbolize this time of year has seemed far away in recent months -- it's been an especially long winter.

But lo and behold, then it's Easter -- a day of celebration, a day of hope and promise.

We can now rejoice in the fact that death could not keep Christ in its stronghold. It instills in us a strength to go on, even when we may feel despair over finances, health issues, family matters and tragedies in the news.

Easter delivers the promise that we can rise above whatever we are facing, the hope that God's goodness and love will allow us to triumph over any obstacles.

It is a time for us to embrace life fully -- not just on Easter, but all of our days.