Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,
“Do not be afraid” and “Peace be with you.” These are greetings that Jesus used with his disciples on the first Easter Day. Today, in a chorus echoing through time and space, we are invited to pick up the new song that Jesus Christ brought in his resurrection from the dead: “We are an Easter People!”
It is a refrain whose vibrant rhythm is seen in the flicker of candlelight. As the Easter Proclamation (Exultet) declares, “May this flame be found still burning by the Morning Star who never sets, Christ your Son, who… has shed his peaceful light on humanity and lives and reigns forever and ever.”
Such an image illumines a world whose light has been dimmed by suffering and death. The earthquake in Matthew’s account of the resurrection illustrates that Jesus Christ has come to shake us up and awaken us from our sleep. Further he invites us who would be His disciples to journey with him and to carry the good news of the resurrection.
This year, we may not have been able to carry lit candles at the Easter Vigil, but in this Easter Season and beyond, we can carry the light of the Risen Christ to all we meet along the way. This commission of the Risen Jesus himself sends us forth to loosen bonds and unlock doors so that the Divine Mercy which flowed from the cross can be experienced by those we encounter in the public square.
The COVID-19 pandemic has certainly given us a Lenten season to be remembered for years to come. Yet, of even more enduring memory should be all that Jesus Christ has done for the human family so that the coronavirus does not have the final word. Although we have been staring death in the face, our Easter celebration reminds us that “Christ our hope has arisen”…and He goes before us…“our new life obtaining.”
It is in this hope of the Resurrection that I wish you and your loved ones a very blessed Easter season! Know you remain in my prayers and please pray for me.
In Christ, our Risen Savior & Hope,
Most Reverend Douglas J. Lucia
Bishop of Syracuse