Easter Letter

Dear Faithful of the Diocese of Mackenzie-Fort Smith

Easter Sunday is upon us. We have concluded our celebration of the Sacred Triduum and before us lies 50 days of Easter which will bring us to the Feast of Pentecost, the day the Holy Spirit was set loose upon the Church.

It has been an Easter unlike any other, with this Pandemic hanging over the world like a dark cloud. Yet, Easter it is. The resurrection of Christ cannot be delayed to a time when everything is fine and there are no worries to distract us. Christ is risen today, Alleluia.

“We are an Easter People and Alleluia is our song.” These words, spoken by Pope John Paul II nearly 35 years ago resonate just as strongly today as they did back then. This sainted Pope lived through great wars, cold wars, culture wars and even survived an attempt on his own life.  Yet, his hope in the risen Lord allowed him the strength to carry on through it all not just with determination, but with joy.

It is my prayer that you will have that joy in your life. Whether you are waiting to go back to work or just waiting to go outside we must always see the “new normal” from the perspective of the “True Normal”, that all things are in the hands of God and that with faith there is no need for despair.

So many who came to the tomb of Jesus on that first Easter morning were so sad and confused at the loss their Lord and filled with dread about the future. When they encountered the risen Lord his first words to them were, “be not afraid”.

So, let us put fear aside, trusting in God that all will be well. Before us are 50 days of Easter. Join me in praying that as we come to the end of those days, if not before, and we celebrate the great gift of the Holy Spirit, we will do so in our Churches together again, together at last. Pray that the Lord will lift us from this Pandemic and raise us to new life with our faith reborn.

May God bless and protect you and your families; may he keep you always mindful of his presence in your life and may the risen Lord be a constant source of hope for you in the days to come.

In the Redeemer

+Jon

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