Bp. Cunningham’s Easter Message
Easter Message 2013
Dear Friends in Christ,
The Gospels provide us with beautiful accounts of the Resurrection. Easter Sunday’s account tells us about Mary Magdalene’s visit to Jesus’ tomb and her anguish at finding it empty. We are told that Mary Magdalene “came to the tomb, early in the morning while it was still dark” (Jn 20:1). She is “seeking the Lord.” What a fitting description for us and all committed disciples of the Lord during this Year of Faith. We seek the Lord because He has first found us and moved us to seek Him. We seek the Lord because we hunger and thirst for goodness, truth and beauty. We seek the Lord in order to rediscover the treasure of our faith. We seek the Lord to know Him more personally.
The good news of Easter assures us if we seek the Lord with a simple and sincere mind we too will find Him. He is alive! He comes to meet us in the sacraments, especially the Eucharist, the Sacred Scriptures, the teachings of the Church and in our brothers and sisters. When we find Him we cannot keep the good news to ourselves. We proclaim this good news with enthusiasm and joy.
We are told that the beloved disciple John, on entering the empty tomb, “saw and believed” (Jn 20:8). He saw more than the empty tomb. He understood that death and suffering were not victorious. During the Year of Faith, we are invited to see with the eyes of faith. Sometimes this will mean seeing beneath the surface, seeing what is hidden yet nonetheless an opportunity to encounter God’s presence. Sometimes this will mean seeing the face of Christ in others. Sometimes it will mean seeing God’s plan in unexpected events or in troubling situations. Sometimes it will mean seeing God in the good, beautiful and joyful moments of life. The eyes of faith are attentive and alert. They “see,” meaning they “believe” in the Lord who is alive and present in their midst. Yes, “Christ my hope is arisen” (Easter Sequence). He is alive. He is with us.
Easter is the feast of feasts. It picks us up and fortifies our hope. God lives and we live in Him. The Lord is risen, alleluia! He is our hope. He is our joy. This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad. May profound gratitude for our faith and a new found hope and joy fill your hearts and minds this Easter Sunday and throughout the Easter Season.
Devotedly yours in Christ,
Most Rev. Robert J. Cunningham
Apostolic Administrator of Rochester