Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
“We proclaim your death, O Lord, and profess your resurrection until you come again.”
We proclaim these words every day at Masses celebrated through-out the world. No matter the language, location, time or community, we faithfully proclaim the death of Jesus Christ and profess his miraculous resurrection. Christ’s victory over the devil, sin and death itself is a joyous triumph; it is the reason we can face any uncertainty, endure any evil or injustice, and remain joyful and hopeful amid any difficulty. These words define our lives as Catholics, especially during this Easter season.
The events of Holy Week – the liturgies of Palm Sunday, Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter – are not mere remembrances of past events. We are not memorializing something from the past that lives only in the history books. What happened 2,000 years ago certainly changed the course of history, but its impact is enduring in a way no other event ever was or will be until Christ returns in his final triumph. Christ’s death and resurrection – his defeat of sin and death – irreversibly changed the course of your history, my history, and the destiny of every person who has ever lived and ever will live. When we participate in the liturgies of this week, we receive the graces of God the Son, who, because of his immense love for us, desired to become one of us and then willingly gave up his life so that we – all of us – could be free and live with him forever.
That sacrifice is profoundly beautiful; in it we rejoice and for it we are immeasurably grateful. As the world around us continues to endure war, disease, economic strife and more, we must remind our-selves and our brothers and sisters that there is reason to hope, there is reason to rejoice. Easter is an opportunity to share with those who have never heard the Gospel that there is great freedom in Christ and His message. If we embrace that most precious gift – and especially if we are willing to share it with others – this Easter season can be one of abundant hope and joy in our families and communities.
I invite you to reflect anew on Christ’s Paschal mystery, to rejoice heartily in it, and to receive with gratitude the love and joy that come from it. I also invite you to share this great joy with others. The world needs Jesus, and we Christians were created to live in this time and this place in order to share Him with those around us. This is our greatest honor.
I wish all of you and your families a joyful Easter season. May God bless you, protect you, and hold you close to his heart now and forever. Christ is Risen! Alleluia!
Sincerely yours in Christ,
The Most Reverend Allen H. Vigneron