Catholic Free Press

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  • Apr
  • 7

“Peace be with you”

Posted By April 7, 2012 | 2:00 am | Lead Story #1

My dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

“Peace be with you!” (John 20:21)  This greeting of our Risen Savior brings us great joy!  On this Easter Sunday, we stand in the garden before the empty tomb with Mary Magdalene.  Recognizing Jesus’ voice, we say with her, “I have seen the Lord.” (John 20:18)  Like the disciples on that first day of the week, we too experience Jesus’ risen presence and proclaim, “The Lord has risen indeed.” (Luke 24:34)
Yes, the joy of Easter is to stand with the disciples at the empty tomb and share the exhilarating realization that Jesus is risen!  For it is happening now just as truly as it did then.
The Lord’s resurrection proclaims that God is always acting in the lives of those who surrender themselves to His holy will.  God shares with us the gift of new life, and He does so with the same love by which He called us to life.  The resurrection of Jesus assures us that in our struggles and in our crises, God is there.  In overcoming sin, in striving to be more committed Christians – more loving, more compassionate, more joyful – God is present to us.  In dealing with suffering, rejection, loneliness and addiction, God is our hope.
We are never alone!  We are not powerless!  We are loved indeed!
From the tomb of sin we can rise to new life with Jesus.  We have a new beginning and achieve a new outlook.  Easter gives us courage beyond our own, and strength we have never known, to face life not as victims but as victors.  The Victim of the cross is now the Victor over death.  The Sacrificed has truly become the Savior!  The Risen Christ has won the victory.
This Easter Sunday we rejoice in the Lord who shares His life and His love with us. We profess in faith that He is the Lord of Life.  Worry and anxiety, difficulty and failure give way to trust in Him and in others.  Easter celebrates the Lord’s care for us, for in both life and death we belong to the Lord who is risen and lives forever.
Easter is the first day of a whole new creation.  May the Lord’s victory over sin and death renew you in faith, hope and courage!  Rejoice and be glad!  A blessed Easter to all!

With every prayerful best wish, I remain
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Most Reverend Robert J. McManus
Bishop of Worcester