Photo: Worshippers hold candles during the Easter Vigil at St. James Church in Setauket in 2014. (CNS photo/Gregory A. Shemitz, Long Island Catholic)
Dear Brothers and Sisters in the Risen Lord:
How changed is the world this Easter morn! How wondrous the truth on the lips of His faithful disciples! Can there be any chant more beautiful, any news more desired, any heart that could seek for more? Jesus Christ is Risen! It is true! He is Risen! Alleluia!
The long Lent of human history was ended that first Easter Sunday morn when Mary Magdalen discovered that the tomb was empty and the body of her beloved Lord was missing. But that body, cruelly put to death on the tree of Calvary, was not missing. It was transformed! It was glorified! For the Son of God made man fulfilled His destiny on this earth and so transformed our destiny from sin and death to life in Him, life eternal.
You and I are the recipients of the long journey of love that Jesus travelled from Galilee to Jerusalem, from birth in a stable to death on a cross. When Jesus took that sign of death and made it the sign of glory, He accomplished the will of the Father who so loved the world that He sent His Son not to condemn but to save the world. And this is the salvation which is ours: Life in Christ Jesus, Life eternal!
My prayer this Easter is that we all with deep faith acknowledge with joy and gratitude that God’s love triumphed in the resurrection of Jesus from the dead and that His resurrection gives us our new destiny: we share His divine life now and will share it with Him forever in glory! My prayer is that we all participate in Mass this Easter Sunday as a pledge of our fidelity to Him who died and rose. My prayer is that we greet one another with that ancient greeting of Christians: Christ is risen! He is truly risen. Alleluia.
If we do that then I am confident we will be renewed in His life and we will be so filled with His Spirit that we will seek to share His life with others and witness His life to the world. I am confident that we will be more eager to care for the sick, reach out to the poor, bear one another’s burdens and be true brothers and sisters by prayer and action to all who need us in our parishes, our communities, our nation and the world. The world needs the witness of our faith in the Risen Christ. The world needs the witness of our hope for the future. The world needs our love that embraces all those whom our Savior embraced from the cross. May they too share in the resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ! For He is Risen. He is truly risen. Alleluia!
Your brother and your Shepherd in Christ,
Bishop of Rockville Centre