Message for Easter 2022 by Bishop Raymond Poisson, Bishop of Saint-Jérôme and of Mont-Laurier and president of the Canadian Conference of Catholic BishopsMonday, April 11, 2022
As the Church in Canada, we have just lived through a particularly remarkable week: in faithfulness to its mission, however imperfectly, our Church is working within itself and around itself towards reconciliation, for the building of a better world. It is doing so by following the vital path of self-examination: through an honest scrutiny of its recent history, the Church in Canada has become aware of its mistakes and, above all, of her existential need to be saved by Christ. I refer, of course, to the meetings between our sisters and brothers from the Indigenous Peoples and the Holy Father, joined in turn by representatives of the Bishops of Canada; an experience of salvation that has been in the works for a long time, and is the first fruits of a future to continue to build.
There is a strength here which is mercy for some and hope for others, both animated by a single desire: to live together in the way God’s plan calls us to do.
As the Church in the world, the members of this great ecclesial body suffer on account of war; to be honest, in many places in the world, members suffer from injustices, from violence and insecurity. This year in particular, however, events in especially critical areas like Ukraine and Russia are bringing suffering to the whole body. It is as if, all at once, mercy, hope, and a life together have become challenges beyond our reach. Yet, Holy Week only has meaning when it culminates in Easter. We must witness to this reality.
There is an equilibrium to be found here, between the sufferings of the Passion and the joy of the Resurrection. Our joy is all the greater because the suffering is real. Hope has this driving power, one which inhabits faith, which is then manifested as charity. In this way, God’s plan, “a life together”, becomes possible again.
In the life of each one of us, there are moments of difficulty and moments of well-being. God does not call us out of this world of constant tension; rather it is within this world that we are invited to witness to reconciliation and peace. Let us all hope that we may be worthy to bear witness to Easter following the Passion, for the glory of God and the salvation of the world!
Glory to the Risen Christ!