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Jubilee of Mercy Easter 2016

By Bishop Terry R. LaValley

March 23, 2016

Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ:

Christ is risen!  Alleluia!  Alleluia!

That Easter morn, the stone was rolled back for Jesus’ followers to see that the tomb Easter Blessingswas empty.  The God of Mercy would not remain in darkness nor be stopped by the chains of death.  As a resurrection people, we will not be immobilized by the frustration or paralyzed by the gloom and doom that weigh heavily on our minds and hearts these days.   No, we are Christ-led, Christ-fed and Hope-filled!  

Pope Francis urges us on:  “Christ’s resurrection is not an event of the past; it contains a vital power which has permeated this world.  Where all seems to be dead, signs of the resurrection suddenly spring up…  However dark things are, goodness always re-emerges and spreads.  Values always tend to reappear under new guises, and human beings have arisen time after time from situations that seemed doomed.  Such is the power of the resurrection, and all who evangelize are instruments of that power…for the resurrection is already secretly woven into the fabric of this history, for Jesus did not die in vain.  May we never remain on the sidelines of this march of living hope!” (The Joy of the Gospel, cf. 276, 278)

Easter is the event that lifts our spirits and strengthens our resolve not to remain on the sidelines of this march of living hope.  This Jubilee Year of Mercy is an especially graced time for us to join this march because it invites you and me to be keenly aware of God’s tender mercy for each one of us.  We are equipped with resurrection power to share that divine mercy, particularly with those who harbor hurting and hardened hearts.
Our Holy Father reminds us that Easter is cause for celebration and determination.  When the baptismal candle was lit at our baptism, promises were made that you and I would keep the flame of faith burning brightly all the days of our life.  Our graced response to this baptismal call continues to shed the Easter light of life in a darkened world.  Praise God for living the mission (your vocation) with Gospel joy!

May you and your loved ones rejoice in the hope and tender mercy that our Risen Savior yearns to bring you.  A blessed Easter to you and your family!

Faithfully yours in Christ,

Most Reverend Terry R. LaValley
Bishop of Ogdensburg

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