Calls attention to hope and joy in the most important Solemnity of the Year—the Resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ
WASHINGTON, D.C.—On Easter Sunday, Catholic priests serving as chaplains in the United States armed forces showed their congregations on installations around the world and in the nation’s Veterans Administration (VA) Medical Centers a video-recorded message from His Excellency, the Most Reverend Timothy P. Broglio, J.C.D., Archbishop for the Military Services. Go here to watch Archbishop Broglio’s Easter message.
Here follows the complete text of Archbishop Broglio’s Easter message:
Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,
“Now is the acceptable time” we said at the beginning of our Lenten pilgrimage. After some weeks of a Church-wide retreat during which we sacrificed, fasted, and made a more earnest effort at prayer, we are now ready to celebrate the most important Solemnity of the year, the Resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ.
It is my joy to greet you at this significant time of rejoicing and to spend some time thinking about how precious we are and how much we are loved. Alone, weakened by sin, expelled from paradise we had serious need of a Savior. Almighty God sent His Son, born of a Virgin to offer us the real reason for our hope, the Messiah and Savior of the world.
He came for all of us. Indeed there never has been, is not now, and never will be anyone who has not been saved through the merits of Jesus Christ. We rejoice in that divine testimony to the worth and dignity of every human person and we strive to communicate that message to those with whom we have daily contact.
We are charged to be bearers of joy and heralds of hope in our world of the military and the Veterans’ Administration Medical Centers where there are so many concerns provoked by budget tightening, by the despondency that can lead to suicide, and by the lingering hardship of war and separation from loved ones. We draw our joy and hope not from external factors, but from the very faith in Jesus Christ the Redeemer of humanity.
As the deacon will sing at the Easter Vigil, “The sanctifying power of this night dispels wickedness, washes faults away, restores innocence to the fallen, and joy to mourners, drives out hatred, fosters concord, and brings down the mighty.” (Easter Vigil Liturgy. Exsultet.)
Every Christian relives the experience of Mary Magdalene. It involves an encounter which changes our lives: the encounter with a unique Man who lets us experience all God’s goodness and truth, who frees us from evil not in a superficial and fleeting way, but sets us free radically, heals us completely and restores our dignity. This is why Mary Magdalene calls Jesus “my hope”: He was the one who allowed her to be reborn, who gave her a new future, a life of goodness and freedom from evil. “Christ my hope” means that all my yearnings for goodness find in Him a real possibility of fulfillment: with Him I can hope for a life that is good, full and eternal, for God himself has drawn near to us, even sharing our humanity. (Pope Benedict XVI, Message, Urbi et Orbi, 8.IV.2012.)
We see as a sign of that hope the election of our Holy Father, Pope Francis. He hails from our American continent and specifically Latin America, so often considered the continent of hope. Once again, the Holy Spirit has provided an extraordinary leader for our time and we are grateful.
We also rejoice in the up-coming ordination of Bishop-elect Robert Coyle at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception on April 25th. He will assure more adequate pastoral care to the faithful entrusted to this global Archdiocese. Even if distance or schedule prevents you from joining us at the Basilica next month, please participate by your prayerful union with that important celebration.
Together let us allow this hope to penetrate all that we do. Let us not dwell with the dead, but rather run from the empty tomb with the news that Jesus Christ is risen and has gone before us!
Along with the Auxiliary Bishops, the priests, and staff of the Archdiocese for the Military Services, I wish you a blessed and happy Easter. May the Risen Lord fill you with hope and lasting joy.
The AMS was created as an independent archdiocese by Pope John Paul II in 1985 as the only Catholic jurisdiction responsible for endorsing and granting faculties for priests to serve as chaplains in the U.S. military and VA Medical Centers.
AMS-endorsed priests serve at more than 220 U.S. military installations in 29 countries, making the AMS the nation’s only global archdiocese. AMS-endorsed priests also serve at 153 VA Medical Centers throughout the U.S.
The AMS service population also includes American Catholic civilians working for the federal government in 134 countries, but currently, due to limited resources, the AMS cannot adequately serve this population.
Worldwide, an estimated 1.8 million Catholics depend on the AMS to meet their spiritual and sacramental needs.
For more information on the Archdiocese for the Military Services, visit www.milarch.org, the only official Web site for Catholics in the military and for the Cause of Father Vincent Capodanno, M.M.