Easter greetings!

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Bishop Ricken

Happy Easter to each and every one of you!

I know that so many of you are experiencing very difficult and challenging days consumed with ill health, personal struggles in relationships, job loss, worry and anxiety for the future, and concern about the national and international turmoil that seems to be prevailing each day. Others of you have lost loved ones recently and some of you have lost, through death, more than one close friend or loved one in recent months.

As Pope Francis has written, “We see and will continue to see problems both within and without. They will always be there. But today it is important to shed the light of the risen Lord upon our problems and, in a certain sense, to “evangelize” them; to evangelize our problems. Let us not allow darkness and fear to distract us and control us. We must cry out to them: “The Lord is not here, he is risen!” (Luke 24:6) He is our greatest joy; he is always at our side and will never let us down.

Brothers and sisters, following Jesus is not easy. It includes bearing the cross of our Lord so that we can alleviate even a little bit of his suffering for all the people of all time and history and for all who will ever live. Can you imagine his suffering during the Passion and crucifixion? At least our suffering, offered up for love of him, may take away some of that pain and suffering. As the well-known hymn by Jack Miffleton exclaims, “But then comes the morning. Yesterday’s sorrows behind. Wake it’s the day of your longing. Life returns, mercy comes, it’s morning.”

It is the morning of the resurrection that restored hope and vision and still does today. May the peace of the risen Christ be with you every day!