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Columns | Friday, April 24, 2020

We are Easter people, Alleluia is our song

Archbishop Wenski's column for the April 2020 edition of the Florida Catholic

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During this Easter season, we celebrate, together with the universal Church, the Sunday in which Christ defeated death, light defeated darkness, grace defeated sin.

We know by experience that our faith in the resurrection does not exempt us from trials or sufferings. This Lent, we ourselves have experienced the trial caused by a virus that, even if it did not infect us, has affected us all. Despite this pandemic, which still concerns us, our faith in the resurrection gives us the strength to trust always in the Lord, to walk in his footsteps and to take that same hope to so many whose hearts are afflicted. And to do that not only with our words, but above all with the eloquent testimony of our actions and gestures of love: showing through our compassion and mercy to those around us that the risen Christ lives in our hearts and is an essential part of our lives.

This proclamation lies at the center of our Christian hope. As St. Paul reminds us: “And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is vain” (1 Corinthians 15:17). And if he had not been raised, his teachings would have resulted in nothing and his promises would not have been fulfilled. But the Lord is alive, he walks by our side, and he reminds us, through the Easter liturgy, that pain and death are not the last word for us. That is why we must rejoice, and full of joy sing with the psalmist: “This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice in it and be glad” (Psalm 118:24)

Brothers and sisters, the reality of the cross will always be present in the world and in our own lives. But let us not forget that there is no glory without a cross, no victory without sacrifices.

That is why we must rejoice and celebrate that death has been defeated and no tomb can hold us forever; not the tomb of despair, nor discouragement, nor lack of faith nor depression. Let us learn from the Apostle Peter who, trusting in the love of Jesus, and despite having denied him, knew to run toward the empty tomb and could never again silence the Truth, nor fail to announce it to the end.

Heartened by this hope and infected with this shared joy, let us live from now on as a people already resurrected; new men and women who know how to find, amid the darkness of the world and of our own hearts, that light that never sets, the light that vanquishes every darkness: Jesus Christ, the Lord of history and the Lord of our own lives.

“We are Easter people and ‘Alleluia’ is our song,” preached St. Augustine of Hippo in the uncertain times in which he lived. He added, “Let us sing here and now in this life, even though we are oppressed by various worries, so that we may sing it one day in the world to come, when we are set free from all anxiety.”

So we repeat: This the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad. We are an Easter people and Alleluia is our song.

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