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Bishop’s Easter Message

“ …but go, tell his disciples and Peter that he is going ahead of you to Galilee;
there you will see him, just as he told you” (St. Mark 16:7)

The joyous proclamation of Christ’s Resurrection, resounded by the angel in the Gospel message (Mark 16:7), was given to Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of James and Salome, after they first encountered the empty tomb. In Matthew’s account (28: 8-15) Jesus himself appears to them on the way, saying: “Do not be afraid; go and tell my brethren to go to Galilee, and there they will see me” (v. 10). With these words, the Risen One entrusts the women with a missionary mandate for the Apostles. Indeed, they offered an admirable example of faithfulness, of dedication, and of love for Christ throughout the time of his public life, as well as during his passion. Now they are rewarded by him with this gesture of attention and special favor. The women always at the beginning: Mary at the beginning, women at the beginning.

First, the women, then the disciples, and Peter in particular, bear witness to the reality of the resurrection. Jesus had foretold to them a number of times that, after his passion and cross, he would rise again. But the disciples had not understood because they were not yet ready. Their faith needed a leap in quality that could only be inspired by the Holy Spirit, the gift of the Risen One.

At the beginning of the Book of the Acts of the Apostles, we hear Peter declare with frankness, courage and candor: “God has raised this Jesus to life, and we are all witnesses of it” (Acts 2:32). As if to say: “I put myself on the line for him. I give my life for him”: And later, he would give his life for him. From that moment on, the proclamation that Christ is risen has spread everywhere and has reached the four corners of the earth, becoming the message of hope for everyone. Jesus’ resurrection tells us that death does not have the last word, but rather life does. In raising God’s only begotten Son, God the Father has fully manifested love and mercy for humanity for all time.

God’s greatest act was to become human, to live and die, so that sin and suffering were and are defeated and Jesus reigns sovereign as Lord and Savior. This is what God chose to reveal in the mightiest sign of all – a sign of God’s commitment, God’s willingness to be present to us in all circumstances. It is the energy and inspiration behind God’s power to transform – without force, but rather, through personal sacrifice.

“Christ has Risen!”, and so it is possible to look with hope at every event of our existence, even the most difficult ones, those charged with anguish and uncertainty. This is the Easter message that we are called to proclaim with words and, above all, through the witness of life. May this certainty strengthen the faith of every baptized person, particularly those who are facing great suffering and difficulty. May this news resound in our homes and in our hearts: “Christ, my hope, has arisen!”.

Happy Easter to All in our diocesan family and beyond!

Bishop San & Lynn