Feast of the Resurrection of our Lord
Christ is Risen! Indeed He is Risen!
Christos Voskrese! Voistinnu Voskrese!
This Lenten Season has been filled with awesome events. All were surprised by the retirement of Benedict XVI. After weeks of speculation and the gathering of the cardinals, there was the sight of white smoke announcing the election of the new pope. When it was announced to the half million people gathered in the square and to billions running to their televisions that the Holy Spirit guided them to elect Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, most were surprised. There was rejoicing which has grown as we learn more of our new Holy Father Francis.
In the same way, the apostles and disciples were surprised and shocked at the arrest, trial, death and burial of Jesus. When they heard the news His body had disappeared, they ran to the place where they had buried Jesus only to find that He was not there. Their surprise and shock turned into rejoicing as they realized that He had risen from the dead as He had told them.
Even though Jesus had explained it to them in advance, some were unable to comprehend the meaning of His words until they saw it with their own eyes. As they peered into the empty tomb, it was as if a hole had been opened to a new dimension of the universe. By His passing from death to life, the apostles and the churches they founded see that we too can follow Him into new life. We have received a taste of this new life during our time on earth, but we encounter it in its fullness in heaven.
When we know that this short life is connected to eternal life, we see that every moment is precious. Each time that we make a choice on how to use our time, we open or close the way to eternal life for ourselves. Our decisions influence others and open or close the way for them. So we now use this Easter Season and our new life in Christ to serve and follow Him each day.
Sincerely yours in the Risen Christ,
Most Reverend William C. Skurla, D.D.
Metropolitan Archbishop of Pittsburgh