One of Pope Francis’s favorite distinctions is the difference between joy and mere happiness. This is something that’s good to carry with us into the Easter season. His example of Mary Magdalene points to a key aspect of joy: It often follows a time of suffering, of disappointment, of struggle overcome and transformed. If Mary hadn’t cared so much for Jesus, her sense of loss wouldn’t have been as deep, but neither would her joy at their reunion. One of the hallmarks of a true friend is someone who can accompany us through good times and bad, weeping and rejoicing as circumstances change. A genuine faith offers the same support. We are blessed if we have such friends, graced if we have such faith.
—from the book The Hope of Lent: Daily Reflections from Pope Francis by Diane M. Houdek