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 Official Newspaper of the Catholic Diocese of Green Bay, WisconsinApril 9, 2004 Issue 

Embrace the life, light and love of Easter

Open your heart to the Lord's life, death, resurrection and ascension

April 11, 2004 -- Easter Sunday

By Bishop Robert Morneau

photo of Bishop Robert Morneau
Robert Morneau

Questions for reflection:

1. What does Easter mean for you?

2. How is Easter connected to light, love, and life?

3. In what ways are you an "agent" of the Easter mystery?

"Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ will come again."

There is a tendency in human nature to be selective. We take what we like. We tend to ignore what dissatisfies us and doesn't accord with our personality type. Thus, some, buried by life or having inherited a melancholic spirit, find the passion of Christ their central focus. Others, more upbeat and optimistic, turn their thoughts to the joy and glory of the Easter event. The challenge for everyone is to embrace the whole Gospel, the Lord's life, death, resurrection and ascension.

 • More Easter articles

Easter is about life! Death, no matter how tragic and ubiquitous, does not have the final word. Good Friday and tragedy is not the end of the story. The eyes of faith see yet another chapter - Jesus lives! Those early Christians who experienced the presence of the risen Lord were transformed: fear gave way to joy, cowardice to courage, doubt to faith. All was new. Death has lost its sting and a whole new life unfolded before them.

Easter is about light! Beneath the shadow of the cross all seemed lost. Hopes went up in smoke. The intense suffering of a master and friend shattered the dreams of freedom. A deep darkness descended upon the world. Chaos seemed to reign.

But with the resurrection came light. Eyes that were blind saw, ears that were deaf heard. A new knowledge and understanding was given. "Did you not know that the Son of man . . .?" The Spirit of understanding and wisdom, of counsel and knowledge came to rest upon the followers of Jesus. Ignorance gave way to truth and hearts were set free.

And, yes, Easter is about love. So too, the birth of Jesus, his public ministry, his death on the cross. It's all about that extravagant love of a self-giving God who knows no limits in caring for creation. Love is the motive behind the mysteries of our faith: the mystery of creation, the mystery of redemption, the mystery of sanctification. God is Love, as St. John reminds us. Easter makes that Love transparent and glorious.

As an Easter people we too are to be agents of God's life, light, and love. For this we were made; for this we were sent. Parents give life to their children physically but also psychologically by loving and spiritually, by educating them. Teachers are instruments of knowledge and goodness thereby helping their students to come to fullness of life. And the list goes on: doctors, employers, administrators, mill workers, farmers are all in the business of life, love, and light. When every person fulfills his or her mission, joy and peace descend upon the land.

Even nature participates in the historical event of the resurrection. New life breaks forth across the land. Each day more light is given us as the darkness wanes. And in the spring, love too becomes evident as our hearts are warmed by so much beauty.

The poet Gerard Manley Hopkins once stated: "Nothing is so beautiful as spring . . ." Well, there is something more beautiful than this season of the year and that is the Easter joy that fills the hearts of believers. And we must pray that that Easter joy flowers into peace for our whole world.

(Bp. Morneau is the auxiliary bishop of the Diocese of Green Bay.)

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