Bishop William K. Weigand of the Catholic Diocese of Salt Lake City has reached out to Catholics and people everywhere, extending his love and blessings on Easter.
"The day we celebrate an empty tomb is always the day our churches are most crowded. It is Easter, the feast of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. Down through the ages the Easter memory and message have been handed on - recorded in the Scriptures, enfleshed in countless individuals and families, celebrated in the worship of Christian assemblies."In our times, as in all times, we enflesh the message of our faith imperfectly. As individuals and as a church, our lives bear the marks of what is worst in human nature, as did, in fact, the body of the risen Lord. We struggle. We are far from being what we should be. But we are far from being what we would be were there no Easter memory and message, no vivid awareness of new power available to us, of a stone rolled away and of a tomb from which burst forth light and life, hope and new potential.
"We sense a call to be renewed and empowered as Easter draws near, just as surely and assuringly as all of nature comes again to life in spring. Easter invites us to look lovingly upon our world and its people, as God does, and to face with courage and resolution whatever we see that is senseless and inhuman, whatever is deficient or sinful, fully expecting that barriers and stones can be rolled away and life and goodness prevail over death and evil.
"The extraordinarily popular prayer attributed to St. Francis of Assisi captures well this Easter conviction that in the power of the risen Lord everything can be turned around: hatred by love, doubt by faith, despair by hope, darkness by light, sadness by joy. I suggest that a special focus for our hope, prayer and action this year, in the wake of the war with Iraq, ought to be the building of a comprehensive peace with justice for all parties in the Middle East. It must be done. It can be done.
"I extend cordial greetings of this most joyous of seasons to all in our community. I am deeply grateful for the mutual respect with which we hold one another and I welcome opportunities to work with others to seek a better world. To roll away the huge stones we need to tap into the power of God but we also need to work together with vision, perseverance and commitment.
"Happy Easter to one and all."