Dear Friends in Christ,
As we celebrate another Easter, we are reminded that, even in the midst of a pandemic, this is a time of renewal and rebirth, of hope and joy. This past year, we have seen many difficulties, but the crisis brought by the pandemic can also become an opportunity for transformation. If we focus on how our struggles and our circumstances can strengthen our faith, hope, and love of God, we will truly be embracing the message of Easter. When we encounter a crisis in our lives, we can, with Christ’s help, find an opportunity to emerge more faith-filled and encouraged. As St. Paul teaches us, “Do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that you may prove what is the Will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect” (Rom 12:2).
In the Paschal Mystery of Jesus’ Passion, death, and Resurrection, we witness eternal life spring forth from death, suffering turned into joy, and despair replaced with hope. Happily, Easter always takes place in spring, a time when the once barren quiet of winter melts away and signs of new life emerge. The past year has been, at times, bleak and perhaps even desolate for some, yet, in this Easter season, like nature itself, we are called to recognize that all things are made new again and be an integral part of this renewal. The Resurrection of Jesus brings new life to us all. May we recognize and be receptive to God’s plan of sheer goodness (“Catechism of the Catholic Church,” 1), prepared for a Spiritual renewal of ourselves and our Church.
Blessings on you and your family, and may we experience the peace and joy of the Risen Christ in our hearts and home.
My prayers and best wishes for a blessed Easter to all of you.
Most Reverend Edgar M. da Cunha, S.D.V., D.D. Bishop of Fall River