Message from the Bishop for Easter

Tuesday, April 4, 2023

Message from the Bishop for Easter

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

At last the great feast of Easter has arrived! A feast of life, of springtime and renewal that brings supernatural joy to our hearts. Let us then cease our weeping, for the life that opens up to those who believe in Jesus and in his resurrection chases away all sadness, anxiety or morbid anguish when we contemplate the possibility of dying.

Father Yvon-Michel Allard, s.v.d., wrote in a homily on Easter Sunday: “In ancient Rome, we find all sorts of tombstones bearing inscriptions of great sadness: “Farewell, this is the end of our love,” “We shall never see each other again,” “Our friendship ends with death”… On the other hand, on the Christian tombs of the catacombs we find inscriptions full of hope: “We shall meet again soon,” “You are alive in the Lord,” “You are going to our God,” “Peace be with you.”

Death will never have the last word for the one who believes in Jesus Christ. It is in fact a passage to a better life! It was the first Christians who used the Greek term “koimiterion” for the first time and we know it today as “cemetery”, which means, according to the original translation: “hotel for foreign visitors”, “hostel for those passing through”, according to Fr. Allard. It is a pity that we have come to forget this dimension of hope when we think of or pass by our cemeteries, as if they were gloomy and depressing places.

So let us all rejoice on this great day as we celebrate the feast of Easter, this day that makes death a “passage” for those who have faith in Jesus the Redeemer. Yes, let us celebrate together, dear friends, with a heart ablaze with love and gratitude for our God who created this day on which the divine and incorruptible light will be offered to believers. Today is the fulfillment of that remarkable word that is written in the Gospel of St. John, a word that Jesus promised to all those who will believe and persevere until the end of their lives: “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even if he dies; and he who lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?” (Jn 11: 25)

“Yes, Lord, I believe!” Happy Easter to each and every one of you!

+ Guy Desrochers, C.Ss.R.
Bishop of Pembroke

Read: Statement of the Executive Committee of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops on the Russian Invasion of Ukraine

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