For a city boy to spend Easter in the countryside was quite something. I was about 12 years old when I went with a group from my school to Kintbury, the De La Salle Brothers' centre in Berkshire. We were blessed with much good weather and the sun shone on us.
On reflection, I can see that what made this trip very special was that we celebrated all the Holy Week and Easter services as well as taking long country walks and enjoying the company of each other. As a keen altar boy I had been used to the lengthy ceremonies, but it was a combination of liturgy and holiday that really hit home for me. It showed me that life, and Easter life, was good and that it could be fun.
We all need glimpses of this good life to keep us going and give us hope. Real hope is based on the resurrection of Jesus, otherwise it is just optimism. And the trouble with optimism is that it is just a desire for things to get better, so it's only really just wishful thinking. By contrast, hope says that they will get better because Jesus has risen from the dead – and that hope is given to us too.
So why not enjoy this season of Easter by looking for signs of new life and resurrection in the ordinary things you encounter every day. You will be surprised by what you see; your faith will be enriched; and it will be fun.
May you and your families have a very happy Easter.