The following is a message from Bishop Robert McElroy, of the Catholic Diocese of San Diego:
This year, the joy of Easter reaches out to us with a special power as we witness the resurrection of our Lord against the backdrop of a world emerging from a time of hardship and suffering.
We sense the wonder and happiness that the disciples experienced at the moment when the risen Jesus Christ first appeared to them with the consoling message, “Peace be with you.”
For, in that peace, we see God’s power over every form of human suffering and even death itself. We see the breadth of God’s love for us that has no boundaries, no beginning and no end.
The peace of the Resurrection tells us who we are and what our mission is on this earth, that our life is a pilgrimage seeking to come closer to the God who has created us in our mothers’ wombs and leads us onward to the kingdom of Heaven, where we shall encounter God face to face.
The peace of the Resurrection is also God’s assurance that all those whom we have loved in this world and who have gone before us in death are not gone from us forever. Rather, we shall encounter them in the kingdom of God and embrace them, and see, and know, and love in them all that we saw, and knew, and loved in them in this world.
The sufferings of the past year have made this Lent an especially profound time of reflection and penitence. And today, those sufferings point to the glory of God, which surrounds us at this moment and accompanies us in every moment of our lives.