Dear friends in Christ,
For Christians, Holy Week is the most sacred time of year. It’s a time to reflect on what the “good news” of the Gospel really means.
The joy of Christian life begins at Christmas, but it comes to fruition on the other side of Calvary. No matter how intelligent or talented or privileged we might be, none of us can avoid the sufferings that go with the fabric of daily life. What we do with those sufferings determines the course of our lives. We can allow them to break us, or to break us open to become something greater than our old selves.
St. John Paul II once described the Bible as “God’s great book about suffering.” He meant that Scripture is the story of God’s willingness to suffer for humanity, and his call to each of us to join our own struggles to his in healing the evil and pain in the world. Real joy, enduring joy – as Pope Francis says so powerfully in The Gospel of Joy – comes from our solidarity with others.
The cross is the way Jesus accomplishes our redemption. Only by sharing that experience with him can we rise with him on Easter. In other words, there’s no resurrection without the crucifixion.
In offering God the personal sorrows and sufferings which each of us daily face, and in working to ease the sorrows and suffering of others, we join ourselves to Jesus. We share in his sacrifice for the world … but we also share in the reward, for he draws us with him out of death into new life on Easter.
Therefore, when we speak about the Gospel message of joy and hope, this is what we mean: the joy of restored life; and our confidence that even in dying, we will live forever in the Lord.
As we begin the Sacred Triduum – the wonderful and moving sacramental celebrations of Holy Thursday, Good Friday and the Easter Vigil – may God grant us all the gift of encountering Jesus Christ as savior … in the Eucharist, at the cross and beyond the empty tomb.
Jesus Christ is our deliverer! Jesus Christ is Lord! May his peace fill each of you and those you love in the coming days, and throughout the Easter season.
Your brother in the Lord,
+Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap.
Archbishop of Philadelphia
Join the CatholicPhilly.com family
CatholicPhilly.com works to strengthen the connections between people, families and communities every day by delivering the news people need to know about the Catholic Church, especially in the Philadelphia region, and the world in which we live.
By your donation in any amount, you and hundreds of other people become part of our mission to inform, form in the Catholic faith and inspire the thousands of readers who visit every month.
Here is how you can help:
- A $100 gift allows us to present award-winning photos of Catholic life in our neighborhoods.
- A $50 gift enables us to cover a news event in a local parish, school or Catholic institution.
- A $20 gift lets us obtain solid faith formation resources that can deepen your spirituality and knowledge of the faith.
- A small, automated monthly donation means you can support us continually and easily.
Won't you consider making a gift today?
Please join in the church's vital mission of communications by offering a gift in whatever amount that you can ― a single gift of $40, $50, $100, or more, or a monthly donation. Your gift will strengthen the fabric of our entire Catholic community and sustain CatholicPhilly.com as your trusted news source. Thank you in advance!
Make your donation by credit card here:
Or make your donation by check:
222 N. 17th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103