Jesus’ message is clear: “No one will take your joy away from you.” Let’s face it. Life can have tremendous challenges, but the virtue of hope is what keeps the Christian going. Jesus points out real situations we can relate to: grief eventually turns into joy; the anguish of a woman’s labor is followed by rejoicing. And the pain from Christ’s death is turned around with the joy of the resurrection.

Pope Francis in his apostolic exhortation, “The Joy of Love,”  said that “joy grows through pain and sorrow.” On the topic of married couples he says, “After suffering and struggling together, spouses are able to experience that it was worth it, because they achieved some good, learned something as a couple, or came to appreciate what they have.” I can relate to this in my own marriage—and life in general. There’s always a cause for hope. This is the message of Christianity: We are an Easter people, and not even the power of death can take our joy away.

Andy Otto, originally from Boston, is currently a high school theology teacher for the Diocese of Sacramento. He also runs the Ignatian blog God In All Things.