Dear Brothers and Sisters,
As we again approach Holy Week and Easter, allow me to echo the words of the Risen Lord, his greeting to the disciples on the night of Easter: Peace be with you!
For the believer – then and now – we are more than passive recipients of these words and the reality that they signify. Jesus instructed his followers: “As the Father has sent me, so I am sending you.”
In the same way, after Mary of Magdala met the Risen One in the garden, first mistaking Him for a gardener, He gave her great responsibility of carrying the good news of the Resurrection to the disciples.
This same “Good News,” which we call “Gospel” is entrusted to us: The One who was crucified is risen, never again to die! And the Lord has given us the mandate to share this news with “all creation.” You and I are messengers to our world that what happened long ago, first in the upper room and in the hall of the praetorium guard, then through the streets of Jerusalem and on the hill of Calvary did not end in defeat. That the tomb could not contain the Lord, that He rose: this is the joyful news that we bear in our being.
This joyful news has not only changed the course of humanity, but it has transformed our very lives; we are heirs to the message given to Mary in the garden that Easter morning, heirs to the first believers who heard the news from her and who then encountered the Lord on Easter night.
My friends, do we transmit this joy to those we meet or even to our loved ones? Do we give credible witness to our encounter with the Risen Lord, whose word we hear and whose Body and Blood we share? Do we allow the Resurrection to turn even the darkness that is in our lives and our world into a bright promise of hope?
Yet it is for this that the Lord has made us His own. May the peace of the Risen Lord be with you all, now and always!
With every best wish and kind regard, I remain,
Patrick J. McGrath
Bishop of San Jose