My Dear Friends in Christ,
With our Lenten journey near its conclusion, we turn our focus from fasting, abstinence and almsgiving, to Christ's suffering on the cross for us, His resurrection and the promise of eternal life.
During Holy Week, as we trace Christ's steps in His painful passion, we give thanks for the selfless sacrifice He made for all of us. Christ's words on the cross, "Father, into your hands I commend my spirit," serve as a reminder that God's only son gave His life so we could live.
This is a time of great joy for the Church. The Easter Vigil will mark the entrance into the faith of nearly 250 people in the Diocese of Buffalo who are journeying through the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults. Join me in welcoming them into the full communion of the Church and encourage them to share their God-given gifts and talents in their new parishes and beyond.
In his Easter message a year ago, Pope Benedict XVI said, "Just as the sun's rays in springtime cause the buds on the branches of the trees to sprout and open up, so the radiance that streams forth from Christ's resurrection gives strength and meaning to every human hope, to every expectation, wish and plan."
So together, may we all reflect Christ's shining example of putting others first, living out every day as one of resurrection, of new life.
Happy Easter to one and all!