March 30, 2021
Dear Friends in Christ,
As we enter Holy Week, the pinnacle of the Church’s liturgical year, our hearts are lifted by the hope that the long-awaited end of the pandemic is finally in sight. While we still cannot accommodate the crowds that usually grace our churches at Easter, I encourage you to participate in the Triduum liturgies of Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter Sunday, whether in person or virtually. Though our liturgical celebrations will not quite be back to what we may consider “normal,” it is a special joy to be able to welcome the many catechumens who will be joining the Church this year at the Easter Vigil. As the Vigil gives way to Easter Sunday, let us unite as a family of faith in rejoicing and giving thanks to the Risen Lord, the Victor over sin and death.
This past year, though challenging, has taught us many things. After our long separations, we have learned more than ever to cherish the gift of presence – the joy of an embrace, the comforting smile of a loved one, the simple pleasure of sitting with family and friends around the table or in the backyard. So too, I hope, we have learned to appreciate, above all, the unfailing presence of Jesus in our lives – in our prayer, in the Sacraments, in each other and in our need for comfort and strength in the face of our own vulnerability throughout the challenges we’ve endured.
It is my prayer that we will come out of this experience recognizing in a new way – through a deep and personal encounter with our Lord and Savior – the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist. As stated in my recent pastoral letter, A Light Brightly Visible 2.0, our faith is most vibrant when we fully recognize that “[Jesus] is alive, he is present to us, and he is the lover of our souls, the light shining brightly at the core of our being.”
Let us pray as we journey together during this week commemorating the Passion and Resurrection of our Lord that our strengthened faith will unite us more than ever as a spiritual community, ever ready to shine the light of Christ for all the world to see.
May God bless you and keep you in his love.
Faithfully Yours in Christ,
Archbishop of Baltimore