My dear friend in Christ,
These first words of the Risen Christ are addressed to His disciples on that Easter Day. The power and significance of this Paschal greeting and gift of Peace continue to echo down through the ages. But what is the Easter peace? Above all, the peace of our Victorious Savior is the tranquility of soul that comes from the forgiveness of our sins. In the Easter narrative of St. John, the first gift of the Risen Jesus to His terrified disciples is the gift of peace. Then Jesus immediately and perpetually unites peace with the grace of the Sacraments – “Whose sins you forgive, they are forgiven them.” As Catholics, let us celebrate today – and for the next 50 days – our Lord’s victory over sin and death and rejoice in that true peace that is ours when we accept the power of forgiveness in our lives.
This powerful Easter proclamation is also the special greeting used exclusively by a bishop at the beginning of Mass. In this world where each of us still have to carry our personal crosses in the hope of Easter glory, my prayer for you and for each of your families is that simple and powerful acclamation of our Divine Savior.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
+Most Reverend Daniel R. Jenky, C.S.C.
Bishop of Peoria