Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ:
Christ is Risen, Alleluia!
Every Easter, as we celebrate our Lord’s victory over death, we delight in the consolation that all is restored through the Resurrection, and we ponder God’s relentless invitation to live the divine life given at baptism.
This is the good news of our faith: Christ has conquered death and we are invited to life. This good news needs to be heard time and again. Even when things are bleak, we remember Christ is victorious and that we have been invited to witness to his victory. As Pope Francis says:
“Where all seems to be dead, signs of the resurrection suddenly spring up. It is an irresistible force. Often it seems that God does not exist: all around us we see persistent injustice, evil, indifference and cruelty. But it is also true that in the midst of darkness something new always springs to life and sooner or later produces fruit. On razed land life breaks through, stubbornly yet invincibly. However dark things are, goodness always re-emerges and spreads. Each day in our world beauty is born anew, it rises transformed through the storms of history. Values always tend to reappear under new guises, and human beings have arisen time after time from situations that seemed doomed. Such is the power of the resurrection, and all who evangelize are instruments of that power.” (1 Pope Francis, The Joy of the Gospel, n. 276.)
We know well the bleakness that can overwhelms us. How good it is to recall God’s goodness! The Risen Lord moves through the locked doors of fear to lead us, to lead our families and to lead the world to peace. May we never forget God’s triumph over death and our baptismal call to be an instrument of that power. May we show the Risen Lord to all we meet.
This Easter, as we rejoice in Christ’s Resurrection, let us remember especially those who suffer in Ukraine and the millions who have been displaced by that tragic war. Together, we pray that the Risen Christ bring light to their darkness and give them peace.
Be assured of my prayers for you in these holy and joyful weeks.
Sincerely in Christ,
Most Reverend John O. Barres
Bishop of Rockville Centre