An Easter message from Archbishop Kurtz

May God bless you as we begin the Sacred Triduum today. This is a time to take part in the special liturgies and to pray privately that we, as individuals and as the family of the Church, might draw close to the Person of Jesus to encounter his saving love and be changed.

During the weeks of Lent, we have been meditating on Pope Francis’ Lenten message, which focuses on a verse from St. Paul’s second Letter to the Corinthians: “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that by his poverty you might become rich”
(2 Corinthians 8:9).

Jesus, who is the Eternal Word was made flesh, empties himself of his divinity to take on our humanity and becomes poor and humble so that we might uncover the riches that only he can bring. During Lent, we have tried through our acts of prayer, fasting and almsgiving, to make ourselves humble, generous, and detached from the things of this world so that we might become rich in God’s lavish love.  It is this love that touches our hearts as we sing Alleluia on Easter Sunday.

Pope Francis is quick to distinguish between the poverty of Jesus and the material, moral and spiritual destitution that robs persons of their dignity as created in the image and likeness of God.

Consider especially Good Friday and Holy Saturday, when Jesus died and was laid in the tomb. We experience something of the poverty of Jesus — his absence and loss during these hours. In a little way, we have experienced this sense of absence as we have fasted throughout Lent.

Of course, Good Friday will never be appreciated without Easter Sunday — Jesus’ death takes on great meaning in our life when we proclaim with our hearts that he is risen on Easter Sunday. Easter, however, can easily be taken for granted when we do not fully understand Good Friday and fail to appreciate what Scripture tells us of the great crushing loss the death of Jesus was to his followers.

This mystery of absence and poverty allows us to enter the Sacred Triduum and Easter as a time of conversion, when the absence of our Lord Jesus Christ makes us ready for the exultant joy at the Easter Vigil. So, as we approach Easter, let Jesus touch your hearts and continue to embrace the poverty that will enrich you as it gives you the power — the grace — to turn away from a life of destitution and help others who experience material, moral, or spiritual destitution. What a great gift this will be!

May we humbly walk this path of Holy Week so that together we might proclaim in our hearts: “Christ our Light!”

A Blessed Easter to all of you!

The Record
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