Easter Sunday 2013
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ Jesus:
Why do you seek the living one among the dead? Those startling words caused the puzzled women at the empty tomb to return from the tomb and announce all these things to the eleven and to all the others. And in one extraordinary moment, this great truth upended all human life and all human history. Peter and John ran to the tomb. Thomas could not believe what the other disciples told him. But it is true! He is risen as He said. Nailed to a cross Jesus nailed sin and death to that tree which by that great act became the tree of life, a bridge over death to bring us into a share in his divine life. Hail O cross, our only hope! Hail, O Savior Divine! Your death destroyed our death. On this Easter Sunday, we proclaim you as Lord and rejoice because your life gives us the sure promise of immortality. Let all the world rejoice. May all humankind recognize their Savior and proclaim His resurrection. Let Alleluia be our song. Let every heart be renewed and every life transformed. He is risen as He said!
In a particular way, Peter becomes the model for us today. Once he grasped the truth of the resurrection, he went forth to tell the good news and to witness that God had raised this Jesus up. That transformation from a frightened man with no hope to a witness to the resurrection became the permanent mark of the apostolic preaching of Peter. Every one of his successors down to our new Holy Father, Pope Francis, have been steadfast in their Easter witness to the resurrection of Christ from the dead.
Their witness reminds you and me that we too are called to be witnesses to the same truth, the same good news, the same radical transformation that is offered to every man and woman who believes and professes that Jesus is the Lord.
In this Year of Faith, I offer you an Easter call to be witnesses of the Risen Christ. I call you to join the Holy Father, me and all my brother bishops in communion with Francis, in being witnesses to the Resurrection by holiness of life and active love of our neighbor, especially the poor, the marginalized, and the vulnerable whether in the womb or the nursing home. Ours is a faith that leads to action. We are called to belong more deeply to Him and to His Church so that we can be effective servants to one another, effective bearers of Christ’s love. May that love that burst forth from the tomb that first Easter live in your hearts and be expressed daily in your lives and the life of His Holy Church.
In the joy of Easter, I am
Your Brother in Christ,
Bishop of Rockville Centre