Bishop Ricken

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The Most Rev. David L. Ricken is the 12th bishop of the Diocese of Green Bay.

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Jesus’ selfless love wins victory over sin and death

By Brooke Anderson | April 2, 2015

We are now deeply immersed in the most sacred days of the church year, the sacred Triduum — or the holiest three days — when we commemorate the Passion, death and resurrection of our dear friend, Lord, brother and Savior, Jesus Christ. With the beautiful liturgies of these days and all the new movies on television about Jesus and this “greatest story ever told,” we cannot help but be moved by the drama of triumph, terror and tragedy.

The highest theater of human emotion and relational dynamics have been compressed into these days: betrayal and loyalty (on the part of a very few); triumphant glory on Palm Sunday and brutal murderous torture on Good Friday; the great self-emptying love of the Savior and abject self-disappointment and despair on the part of Judas. It is all part of the human and divine drama that has won the victory over sin and death through the selfless love of the Savior.

In the Easter Vigil service, during the Service of Light, we will hear chanted: “O Happy Fault, O Necessary Sin of Adam.” Somehow in the mystery of the divine plan, our first parents made a fatal choice and that choice against the will of God had been unfolding in creation ever since. All of that has now become a “happy fault,” since without that momentous choice, there would be no need of a Savior, nor would we have known the gift of God becoming human flesh as he has done in Jesus; nor would we have known the depths of love to which he would descend in redeeming our abysmal plight and condition.

“Oh happy fault.” Join me at the cathedral or in your own parish churches during the high drama of these days as we relive and re-enter “the greatest story” that has ever been told and lived and that continues to be lived in and through each one of you and me.

“Jesus, son of the living God, have mercy on me a sinner!”

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