At Easter Masses, Cardinal Wuerl Reflects on the Joy of the Resurrection

Sunday, April 20, 2014

HYATTSVILLE, Md. – Cardinal Donald Wuerl, archbishop of Washington, today celebrated Easter Sunday Mass at the Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle marking the Resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.

“So overwhelming is the Resurrection that we need to come together to hear the announcement all over again and to affirm for ourselves once again the message: Christ is Risen,” said Cardinal Wuerl as he began his homily. “An essential part of the Easter celebration is the proclamation of the Word,” he continued. “We come today as millions and millions have for 2,000 years to hear all over again: the tomb is empty, the Lord is Risen; we have seen him so that you and I can profess our faith that Jesus Christ is risen from the dead.”

“In hearing the faithful witness of that message we hope to reaffirm our own faith, our own belief that Jesus is truly risen from the dead. We were not there so we need to hear again the witness of those who were,” the cardinal continued.

“Today there is only one living witness to the Lord Jesus, only one witness who can say, I was there when Christ died, when he rose, when he ascended in glory, when he sent the gift of the Spirit on us. That one remaining living witness is Christ’s Body, his Church,” the cardinal explained. “It is that Church that summons us today to hear all over again the good news — that we would not otherwise hear with confidence, Christ is Risen.”

Quoting Pope Francis’ apostolic exhortation, The Joy of the Gospel, Cardinal Wuerl said, “Christ’s Resurrection is not an event of the past; it contains a vital power which has permeated this world.”

“In the sprinkling rite that is a part of our liturgy today we recall – we remember – our own baptism. We are not bystanders looking at the empty tomb and simply listening to the witnesses tell us that Jesus is risen. You and I are invited into the new life of the Risen Lord – a life that has the power to go on into eternity,” he said.

“I ask you spiritually to join yourself to the hundreds and hundreds of adults throughout this archdiocese who were baptized into the Church at the Easter Vigil last evening and also to unite yourself spiritually to all of us in this church and throughout the whole Church as we once again affirm our faith that Christ is risen, Christ is truly risen,” said the cardinal. This Easter, more than 1,300 adults, teens and children were welcomed into the Catholic faith at parishes throughout the Archdiocese of Washington, the largest number of candidates and catechumens ever.

“At the very center of our celebration is the Eucharistic Liturgy. Here we do what Jesus asked us to do in memory of his death and Resurrection, we re-present that mystery in a way that we become a part of it,” the cardinal concluded. “Today the words, ‘Christ is risen, Christ is truly risen. Alleluia, Alleluia!’ take on special significance for us because today as a result of the Eucharist, not only is Christ risen, but he is risen in us.”

Following Mass at St. Matthew’s, Cardinal Wuerl 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.

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The Archdiocese of Washington is home to over 620,000 Catholics, 139 parishes and 96 Catholic schools, located in Washington, DC, and five Maryland counties: Calvert, Charles, Montgomery, Prince George’s and St. Mary’s.

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