Our suffering will not end in pain

In the coming days, Christians throughout the world celebrate the most sacred mysteries of our faith through the observance of Holy Week. Our journey accompanies the Lord on Palm Sunday with the jubilant crowd that joyfully welcomes into the city of Jerusalem as their liberator, only to conclude with the Lord’s suffering and death on the Cross five days later.

These days afford us a graced time to reflect upon the selfless gift of love that Christ offers the world through His Passion and Death. We are called to deepen our understanding that anyone who wishes to call themselves Christian must be prepared to love in that same way that Christ did. Through the solemn liturgies of the Triduum, we will join Christ in the upper room, vigil with Him in the Garden and walk with Him to Calvary and the empty tomb.

Our Easter faith is clear. In our daily lives, we are asked to love as generously and radically as Jesus did.  In a special way, we must stand in solidarity with all those who are suffering because of physical or mental illness or because they are victims of violence, abuse, and injustice. We especially remember those who are suffering so terribly around the world because of their Christian faith. May the Lord grant them strength in their time of need and a share in everlasting life.

Yet we must never forget that the greatest gift from our Heavenly Father is Christ, His Son and our Lord. It is the Risen Christ who is our Easter hope and salvation! Despite the suffering and evil in the world, we who wish to follow Christ need to ask for the gift of joy, which our Father in Heaven will give to each of us.

Let us confront the challenges and difficulties of our lives, knowing that God will lead us every step of the way. We must never forget that the Lord promises us that our suffering will not end in pain but in glory and transfigured life.

I pray that the new life offered by our Risen Lord abundantly bless you and your family with joy, hope and peace of mind and heart this Easter.

Most Reverend Frank J. Caggiano
Bishop of Bridgeport