April 3, 2015
Easter Letter 2015
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Heartfelt blessings to you and your family, on this fourth Easter in the life of the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter!
Easter is the season for the renewal of life and new beginnings. So it is appropriate that we look ahead in the life of the Ordinariate, where important and hopeful developments are emerging, particularly in terms of our mission, administration, and liturgy. It will be a joy to share these with you in the days to come. I also would like to encourage the lay faithful to consider coming to Our Lady of Walsingham in Houston for a festive conference on Feb. 2, 2016, when we will be joined by the Ordinaries of the U.K. and Australia and their wives.
These words from a wonderful Catholic classic, which has exercised a profound influence on the last three Popes, puts the message of Easter in a fine light:
“The curve of my existence begins with birth and ends with death. Before it lies darkness so complete that it seems incredible that I ever could have begun to exist at all. After it again dark, out of which gropes a vague sensation of hope. In Jesus this is not so. The arch of his existence does not begin with His birth, but reaches far behind it into eternity: `… before Abraham came to be, I am’ (John 8:58). And the arch does not break off in death, but continues, bearing His earthly existence with it, into eternity: `… and they will kill Him; and on the third day He will rise again’ (Matt. 17:22). The Resurrection is the blossoming of the seed He has always borne within Him. He who rejects it, rejects everything in Jesus’ life. What then remains, is not worth faith.”
Romano Guardini, The Lord (1954).
What a great lesson! Christmas is not about Jesus’ birth but the life He had before it. Easter is not about Jesus’ death but the life He has after it. Being a Christian is about our lives being stretched backwards and forwards according to the pattern of Christ’s life. “Your life is hid with Christ in God,” the Apostle says in Colossians 3:3. We believe that before our birth we have always had a place with Him in the eternal purposes of God the Father. We believe that after our death we will be with Him forever.
May the Risen Lord, “who has loved us to the end” (Jn 13:1), welcome us into the fullness of His life! Thank you for your prayers and support for the Ordinariate. Let us continue to encourage one another and build one another up (I Thess. 5:11).
Msgr. Jeffrey Steenson