There is a word that only God can speak: it is the word of the resurrection. - Pope Francis
My dear friends,
On behalf of The Most Reverend Joseph C. Bambera, D.D., J.C.L., Bishop of Scranton, Monsignor Thomas M. Muldowney, V.G., Reverend Jeffrey J. Walsh, V.E., Deacon Ed Shoener and the Cathedral staff, I extend to you, and those you love, a blessed and hope-filled Easter! I extend my most heartfelt thanks for all of the kind messages you have expressed, the cards you have sent, and the prayers you have offered me and my brother priests.
Over these past few weeks our lives have changed in ways that just a few months ago would have been unthinkable. Simple tasks and activities that we perhaps took for granted are now undertaken in a different manner or not at all. Restrictions have been placed on us in the name of our and others' safety and we have had to make adjustments to our daily lives. So many changes have befallen us. In the midst of all of this change, one thing has remained constant: the resurrection of our Lord and Savior. In his 2018 Easter message, our Holy Father Pope Francis said "Death, solitude and fear are not the last word." "There is a word that transcends them, a word that only God can speak: it is the word of the resurrection." And by the power of God's love, "it dispels wickedness, washes faults away, restores innocence to the fallen, and joy to mourners, drives out hatred, fosters concord and brings down the mighty."
Easter is the time in the Church’s year when we experience the joy of moving from the impenetrable gloom of death, as Jesus is laid in the tomb, and witness his radiance as He is raised from the dead. God shows us his ultimate gift of mercy by bringing forth life from death. For all of us, this season is an opportunity to renew the grace of our own Baptism and to grow as grateful disciples of Jesus Christ. We are called to proclaim God’s forgiving love, inviting our brothers and sisters to salvation in the Lord. Together we are called to bring to everyone the light of the Gospel, the embrace of the Church and the tenderness of God’s loving mercy!
The changes we are experiencing today and will undoubtedly continue to experience are temporary. We know this because of our belief in the resurrection. Christ's resurrection is the true hope of our world. It does not change and it does not disappoint. We offer our gratitude to God for bringing us, once again, to celebrate this blessed feast. In a world shrouded in darkness and uncertainty, let us go forward with unceasing hope, celebrating the radiant light of Christ which each of us holds in our hearts.
I look forward with eager anticipation to the day when we can gather once again in our Cathedral or in whatever church you call home and celebrate the glory of the risen Christ with one another. This time will come, my friends. Until it does, let us remember the words of the prophet Isaiah: “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
I pray fervently for you, your family, and our Cathedral family and ask God to bless you and your loved ones with an abundance of Easter joy!
I leave you with this thought: remember, that just as our Savior was not in the tomb when Mary Magdaline and the other Mary came looking for him, he is not in a church building. He resides in the hearts of his faithful.
He resides in your heart.
With every blessing, Monsignor Dale R. Rupert