At Easter Masses, Cardinal Wuerl reflects on the election of Pope Francis and joy of the resurrection

March 31, 2013

Cardinal Donald Wuerl, Archbishop of Washington, celebrated Easter Sunday Mass at the Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle marking the Resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. At the Easter Vigil last night, more than 1,200 adults, teens and children were welcomed into the Catholic faith at parishes throughout the archdiocese.

The solemn and reflective Paschal Triduum (Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Holy Saturday) that commemorates the suffering and death of Jesus Christ on the cross is a reminder to all Christians that His Resurrection at Easter is all the more reason for joy and excitement.

In his homily, Cardinal Wuerl recalled being part of the conclave that elected Pope Francis earlier this month. “Between the emergence of the smoke and the actual appearance of the new Pope in the window, about 40 minutes passed…Meanwhile, the huge crowd in Saint Peter’s Square that was growing and growing with each passing moment, continued to cheer. Before they even knew who the Pope was, they and people all around the world, were filled with joy and hope.”

The Cardinal spoke about the significance of the pope’s election “because of the unbroken line from Peter through centuries to John Paul II to Benedict XVI and now to Francis, we have heard the same message,” referring to the Good News that Christ is risen. “We can say, ‘I have heard the voice of witnesses, I have heard the testimony of those who saw the Risen Lord.’”

This makes Easter a time of extraordinary joy, the Cardinal said. “No wonder we come to Church on Easter with joy in our hearts. No wonder we come to this celebration of Mass filled with hope and expectation.”

“May you carry in your hearts today and every day, the splendor and joy of the simple proclamation of those on that first Easter, of Peter and of every believer since, ‘Christ is risen, Christ is truly risen, Alleluia!’”

Following Mass at St. Matthew’s, the Cardinal celebrated the Noon Mass at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, which was carried live on EWTN and on The Catholic Channel on SiriusXM Satellite Radio.

The Archdiocese of Washington is home to over 620,000 Catholics, 139 parishes and 97 Catholic schools, located in Washington, DC, and five Maryland counties: Calvert, Charles, Montgomery, Prince George’s and St. Mary’s.

Chieko Noguchi
Office of Media and Public Relations
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