Easter 2020
I am the light of the world; he who follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life
( 8:12).
My Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
On that first Easter night, Jesus appeared to the disciples, “even though the doors and windows of the place where they were staying were locked.” Fear for their very lives brought them to the natural survival instinct to “shelter in place”. We are, undoubtedly, living in a time of grave uncertainty. Our daily lives have changed drastically as we are unable to see our loved ones in person and cannot experience the healing power of the Eucharist.
But nothing, no fear, no locked doors, no quarantine, no separation prevents the Lord Himself from making His presence known in our midst even while we are locked up in our shelters. His words are “Peace” “Do not be afraid. It is I” “Put your finger into the nail marks; put your hand into my side. Do not persist in your unbelief, but believe.”
Christ crucified is Christ truly risen. He understands our fear and leads us to confront fear with Faith. Throughout the Old and the New Testaments we read of the great victories of men and women who confronted fear with a sometimes wavering and sometimes resolute Faith. How heroic that faith is! Let the eternal victory of Our Lord Jesus restore your bravery through belief – deeply renewed belief in Him. In the midst of anxieties and fears, we can find courage through our belief because Jesus rose from the dead. It is from the darkness that Christ resurrects and reverses death.
At this Easter Season, which we observe in the manner of and in union with those first disciples, we look out our windows in the direction of the whole world and pray: “May the heart of Jesus present in the Most Blessed Sacrament, be praised, adored and loved with grateful affection, at every moment, in all the Tabernacles of the world even to the end of time.”
And so, as we mark these joyous days of Jesus’ Resurrection from the dead, and until the Holy Spirit bids the world to come alive again, I pray: “May these days not be marked by our disappointment, but by sharing Jesus’ joy in victory over the snares of the devil. ‘Christ is risen from the dead. By death He conquered death and bestowed life upon those in the tomb’.
May the peace and blessing of Almighty God, the Father + the Son + and the Holy Spirit + descend upon you and remain with you forever and ever. Amen.”
Sincerely in Christ,
Most Reverend Peter A. Libasci
Bishop of Manchester