By Archbishop Gregory M. Aymond
Dear Young Church,
He has risen!
As we celebrate the great feast of Easter, we recall Jesus’ suffering and death, his bruised body laid in the tomb and how he was raised from the dead to share with the Father and the Holy Spirit the kingdom of heaven.
This is a great feast for us. In fact, it is the most important feast in our Christian faith. Jesus’ resurrection teaches us that he has come to forgive our sins and to raise us to new life with God the Father. It also reminds us that he is the light of the world. This is very evident by the way in which we celebrate the Easter Vigil.
At the beginning of the Easter Vigil, the Easter candle, which is a sign of the risen Christ, is processed into a church that is in complete darkness. The lighted candle is a sign that Christ is indeed our light and comes to shed that light to us and to all the world.
As the candle comes into the church, each of the participants at the Mass has a small candle which is lighted from the Easter candle. This symbolizes that we share from the light of Christ. The glory of his resurrection touches our hearts, our lives and our world.
We know that there is a lot going on in the world that is filled with violence and hatred. We also know sometimes in our daily lives, whether it is at home or at school, there are moments of discouragement and darkness.
Easter reminds us that in spite of these challenges, we should never give up, but allow the risen Christ to shine his light in our hearts, which gives us hope and peace.
My prayer is that this Easter season will be a time of blessing for you and for your family. Please let your light shine to others in order that they may come to know the risen Christ through you.
Wishing you God’s blessings, I am a brother in Christ, Most Rev. Gregory M. Aymond, Archbishop of New Orleans