Bishop Neary: Doing the work of resurrection

Dear friends:

As we come to the end of our Lenten journey and enter into the great feast of Easter, our hearts rejoice in the knowledge that Christ, our light, has resurrected, never to die again!

By Bishop Neary, C.S.C.

We Christians can sometimes lose sight of the profound meaning of the bodily resurrection of Christ as first witnessed by Mary Magdalene and the disciples. While the Big Bang set in motion the first act of creation that is estimated to have occurred 13.8 billion years ago, Christ’s resurrection set in motion the greatest act of the new creation that occurred 2,000 years ago.

Blessed Basil Moreau, the founder of my religious order, the Congregation of Holy Cross, once wrote: “We must be about the work of resurrection!” You and I are living witnesses to the resurrected Christ and his most intimate friends, called each day to be people with hope to bring.

Since my ordination day as bishop of the Diocese of St. Cloud, I’m struck by all the wonderful works of resurrection that I see taking place in this diocese. In the parishes and schools that I have so far visited, I see Christ resurrected at work. When I made my first visit to St. Cloud Hospital and met the pastoral care team who accompanies the sick and dying, I felt Christ resurrected at work. In my first confirmation Mass at St. Mary Parish in Alexandria, I experienced Christ resurrected in the moment of anointing the foreheads of 39 young people with chrism oil.

Not long ago, the entire pastoral team of the diocese met to share about the synodal process and how it inspired renewed hope for us and for the universal Church. As we prayerfully shared together the key themes of the synodal summary document, I felt that we were about the work of resurrection!

Clearly one of the key places we encounter Christ resurrected is in the celebration of the Eucharist, which is the core message of the Eucharistic Revival taking place in the diocese. At its core, the Eucharist is about the joy of encountering the One whose image and likeness we bear. We experience the same kind of intimacy with Christ as did Mary Magdalene, as well as the beloved disciple, John, who reclined on Jesus’ breast at the Last Supper and was the first to peer into the empty tomb.

Each of us is called to be about the work of resurrection in our daily lives. Most often, this work isn’t dramatic but is expressed in small ways: greeting a stranger, praying for others who are ill, visiting someone who lives alone, or preparing a meal for the family. Anything done with great love, however simple, is a work of resurrection. In a world where there is so much loneliness,
let us be people with hope to bring!

Yours in Christ,
+Patrick M. Neary, C.S.C.
Bishop of Saint Cloud

Top photo: The morning of the Resurrection is depicted in “He Is Risen,” a painting by contemporary Chinese Christian artist He Qi. (CNS photo/courtesy of He Qi/

Author: Bishop Patrick Neary, C.S.C.

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