Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Without the devastation of Good Friday, we could never appreciate the wonder of Easter and the joy of the Resurrection. Only in the context of the utter defeat of the Cross can the Empty Tomb be invested with meaning. Where death had seemed to conquer, life triumphed.
In remaining faithful to the Father, Jesus did not regard “equality with God something to be grasped. . .”
Rather, he emptied himself,
taking the form of a slave,
coming in human likeness;
and found human in appearance,
he humbled himself,
becoming obedient to the point of death,
even death on a cross.
Because of this, God greatly exalted him.
During Lent, we have attempted as best as we could to join the Lord in “emptying” ourselves of all that holds us back from following Him so that, with the coming of Easter, we would be dead to our old selves and rise with Him as part of the new creation that God initiated in Jesus.
Looking to the Resurrection, we strive toward our own participation in Jesus’ victory over death. As we sense in our own time that which renders life meaningless, so much more do we need what Risen Life promises: “If we have died with the Lord, we shall rise with the Lord” (2 Timothy 2:11).
The first witnesses to the Resurrection included the Apostles, Peter and John, and Mary Magdalene, Apostle to the Apostles, who was the first to encounter the Risen Lord, thinking Him to be the gardener; it was she who ran to the Eleven to share with them the news of that Easter morning.
As we enter into the holiest of our days and our celebrations, may the Risen One bring you, your families and loved ones the joy and peace that flows from His Resurrection from the dead.
Alleluia! The Lord is truly risen. Alleluia!
With every best wish and kind regard, I remain,
Patrick J. McGrath
Bishop of San Jose