Alleluia! He is risen! We come to another celebration of the great Easter event - the resurrection of Jesus from the dead. It is our great feast of hope and faith as we know that Jesus has conquered death once and for all and opens up for us the way to an eternal life of peace and joy when our journey on this earth is finished.
We know that there are many troubles in the world today - from wars to persecutions, natural and man-made disasters, human trafficking, sexual exploitation, and the list can go on and on. Yet we look to this feast of Easter to remind us that now matter how difficult things can be, there can be hope because of Jesus' resurrection. Let us continue to pray that the peace that Christ wants to bring to the world will find its place and bring an end to all the strife that surrounds us.
For me, this is a special Easter. It was 79 years ago today that I came into this world (and it happened to be the Vigil of Easter). I have now come full circle with my birthday falling on this Easter Sunday. I give thanks to God for all the blessings he has bestowed on me during those years - from loving parents and a wonderful brother to my wife of over fifty years who has been such a great support and companion for me. I give thanks for my children of whom I have been very proud. Last year, we suffered the loss of our younger daughter, but I know she is waiting for us to join her in that place of eternal peace when our life on earth is over.
It was twenty years ago this fall that I was ordained to the order of deacon by my bishop and great friend of 56 years, Bishop Howard Hubbard. It has been a privilege to serve with him in our diocese and I wish him only the best for his retirement. God and our Holy Father Francis has blessed this diocese again with a wonderful pastoral shepherd in the person of Bishop Edward Scharfenberger. I was privileged to be in attendance at his ordination to the episcopate and I look forward to serving with him in the days and years ahead.
Yes, this is a special Easter. I pray for all who read this that you will be filled with the joy and hope that Jesus' resurrection has brought to the world. May God bless you all.