Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

Warm greetings in the Risen Lord!

Easter is late this year, and Spring is in full force as I write this message. There are geese overhead, robins and meadowlarks have come, tulips are bursting through the soil, and pussy willows and crocuses bring joy that marks the changing of seasons. Winter was harsh this year, and it is consoling to know that the brutally cold days of February can give way to much more pleasant days in the span of a few weeks. The movement from Winter to Spring brings change, new life, and transformation.

We need that transformation in our lives too. Our faith invites us to a deep honesty, which begins by listening to and seeing the pain of others, and all that needs healing in our church and in our world. With our eyes and ears open, we have heard the pain of victims of abuse, of refugees longing for a new home free of oppression or poverty, of youth who carry heavy hearts because of the confusion and brokenness of our society. We know the limitations and failures of our efforts, both personal and communal, to respond honestly and compassionately to the suffering of others. And we carry our own burdens too.

Our liturgies in the past days have carried us to the heart of our faith, commemorating the dying and rising of Jesus. Pope Francis reminded us recently that ‘all that Jesus did during his life failed on the cross.’ His message of God’s nearness, his healing ministry, his lived proclamation of God’s mercy we’ve suppressed and silenced. In Jesus, the Creator of all things entered into the depths of our brokenness and sin, and was a victim of it. In the Creed we even profess that he descended into hell. But instead of being the end, this becomes the place of transformation and redemption, as Jesus rises from the dead. God overcomes darkness with light, wounds with healing, hatred with love. Love triumphs. The cross itself becomes the sign of the greatest love.

Our faith is a conviction that the Risen Lord goes in search of all the wounded, the broken, the pushed aside, the unredeemed, and comes to find us, even in the darkest places. Our faith is a paschal faith. Only a paschal faith can persevere in hope and in joy at the darkest of times. Furthermore, we who believe in the resurrection and trust in God’s power to transform death into life are summoned to be agents of transformation and healing for others. Even struggling or broken as we are. Someone sent me an email recently, with a photo of a crescent moon, and this text: ‘and the Moon said to me - My darling, you do not have to be whole in order to shine.’

As Winter has given way to Spring, may we find hope in the paschal joy which rises from the tomb, and in the many ways that this joy is echoed in the bursting forth of new life in the natural world. By God’s grace, may we ever more witness to and participate in God’s ongoing transformation of all in need, of ourselves and our world.

Christ is Risen! Happy Easter!

✠Donald J. Bolen Archbishop of Regina

April 2019

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