Early Christians would greet one another saying, "Alleluia! He is Risen!" The response would come, "He is Risen indeed!" Yes, Christ is Risen from the dead and with him our hope has risen. The dark night of our sinfulness, the pall cast over the world by evil is dispelled. The Sun of Righteousness is among us and we have all been warmed by His rays.
For those who recognize this wondrous work of God the world cannot appear the same. Perhaps the sun is not shining any brighter. Clouds continue to cast their shadows. The burdens life presents to each of us remain. But there is an unseen Presence shining with brilliance within our hearts. The clouds do not block its glory. Even our burdens are illumined. Some disappear; others grow lighter to bear.
There is a group among us who know the power of Christ's Rising with an even greater immediacy than the rest of us. I refer to those who, when we announced Christ's departure from the tomb at the Easter Vigil shared for the first time in the fruits of his victory. They have entered into the tomb with Christ in the waters of Baptism and emerged as sharers in His risen life.
We also rejoice with those who, though baptized previously, came to share fully in his saving work through participation in Confirmation and the Eucharist. They entered into full communion with Christ's Church and joined us as we continue our journey into the Kingdom of our risen Lord.
Please welcome those who either have or soon will join us as members of the Family of God. This year I will be celebrating this great work of God in their lives in a special way. I will be gathering with them in two groups for special Mystagogia Masses during this holy time of Easter. We are inviting the newly Baptized to wear their white garments signifying this new life they have received. Please look in this edition of the paper for a listing of the dates and times of these special celebrations.
I, along with all of us in the Diocese, join in extending to you all our prayers and hopes that the great saving work of God we celebrate in this holy season of Easter will illumine your life and lighten your burdens.
Most Rev. Mark J. Seitz