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Easter letter 2021

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Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Our Lord is risen! The Light of the world has conquered the darkness and provided for us the opportunity for life with him, now and forever. After a long, challenging year, we now joyfully celebrate the Lord’s Resurrection and are renewed and strengthened by the hope he imparts.

I pray that each of you is able to embrace fully this sacred season of Our Lord’s victory over suffering and death. Despite the pandemic and the other difficulties brought into our lives over the past year, we have reason to rejoice! Our Lord loves us and, in faithful obedience to the Father, offered the ultimate sacrifice on our behalf, so that we might have eternal life with him in heaven with the saints and the angels.

At the start of Lent, on Ash Wednesday, I preached about a fundamental virtue for those pursuing a close relationship with God: humility. St. Augustine famously wrote, “If you should ask me what are the ways of God, I would tell you that the first is humility, the second is humility, and the third is humility. Not that there are no other precepts to give, but if humility does not precede all that we do, our efforts are fruitless.” God alone has the power to conquer death and give new life in him. Our joy should be rooted in humbly acknowledging that the salvation won by Christ is freely offered to us. Death and resurrection are gifts freely offered, and we must rely upon his infinite mercy to enter the Kingdom of Heaven.

In our lives, we experience happiness as well as sorrow, and if we unite our joys and sufferings to Christ’s, he will lead us to share in his victory and the glory of his Resurrection. Thus, may we celebrate the blessings of Easter with a humble and grateful heart!

May the peace of the risen Lord, the Light of the world, be with you in this Easter season and always.        

Sincerely in Christ,

Most Reverend Michael F. Burbidge

Bishop of Arlington

© Arlington Catholic Herald 2021