Catholic Free Press

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  • Mar
  • 28

Joy of Easter

Posted By March 28, 2013 | 12:33 pm | 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)
Yes, the joy of Easter is to stand with the disciples and share the exhilarating realization that Jesus is risen!  This experience of faith is happening now just as it did on that first Easter.
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 a more committed Christian – more loving, more compassionate, more joyful – God is present to us.  In dealing with suffering, rejection, and loneliness, God is our hope.
We are never alone!  We are not powerless!  We are loved indeed!  And have we not just experienced this presence of God in a new and vibrant way in the election of Pope Francis?
Knowing so well the power of the Lord’s Easter victory over sin and death the Holy Father, throughout his priestly life, has committed himself to serving the poor.  In his great humility, Pope Francis has cared for the sick and worked tirelessly for justice for all God’s people.  He has done this because of his great Easter faith!  He now calls us to live the Gospel in the same way!
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 Risen Christ has won the victory.
This Easter we rejoice in the Lord who shares His life and His love with us.  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.
Rejoice and be glad!  May the Lord’s victory over sin and death renew you in faith, hope and courage!  A blessed Easter to all!

Sincerely yours in Christ,

Most Reverend Robert J. McManus
Bishop of Worcester