2011 Easter message by the President of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, the Most Rev. Pierre Morissette

Wednesday, April 20 2011

morissetteFor many of us, our yearly Lenten journey has been shaped by its beginning and end. We started with the temptations of Jesus and then the vision of his transfiguration. We end by entering with him into Jerusalem, where we share with him in his suffering, death and resurrection. But what has this really meant for us, and what happened to us on the way?

Sometimes we forget what the journey is really about, and fail to see what should be noticed along the route. In case you may have missed it, the three intervening Sundays of Lent told us a great deal about the Lenten journey and our entry into the Easter celebration. The readings of the Third, Fourth and Fifth Sundays of Lent invited the catechumens, as candidates for Baptism, to think over and even “test” their motives about why they want to be initiated into the community of faith. The same readings also invited the rest of the Christian community to examine its own faith journey. Three major points came forward in this year’s readings: What do we most yearn and thirst for in life (the Gospel reading of the woman at the well)?  How can we see what life is really about – not only to have sight, but insight and vision (the healing of the blind man at the pool of Siloe)? How can we embrace life and stand with courage, strength and inspiration among those truly alive (the Gospel reading of the resurrection of Lazarus)?

Often we simply plod along the road of faith – moving as if in some shadowy, superficial existence, not really aware. We frequently stumble on, half-hearted, hazy eyed, hesitatingly. Not fully alive, and not even aware of the deepest yearnings in our hearts, or in the hearts of our brothers and sisters.

Perhaps this is why we are easily distracted along the way. There is so much talk and chatter in contemporary life. Our daily lives are filled up with the glaring sounds of radio and television, the fleeting words of text messages and websites, and the frequently disturbing and cruel remarks from blogs and social media.
The Paschal Mystery is the road on which we are called to discover our deepest yearnings and most authentic needs. It gives us the light that enables us to see Light. It opens the way to life and to the truth about life. It is Life itself.

The 50 days of Easter are an invitation for us to rediscover the depths of our own lives. Through the Resurrection of Christ, we see the creative and transforming strength of God’s love for us and our world. This journey in faith is the journey to eternal life. To borrow from the words of Saint Paul, God our Father who raised Christ from the dead will give life to our mortal bodies also through his Spirit that is dwelling in us (Romans, 8.11).

Christ is risen! Yes, Christ is risen indeed!


+ Pierre Morissette
Bishop of Saint-Jérôme
President of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops