Solemnity of the Resurrection of Our Lord, April 17, 2022

Dear Confreres, Sisters, Partners in Mission and friends,

Once again, the words of this traditional Easter greeting ring out across the world! It is the very heart of our faith, and also of our Redemptorist Missionary Vocation: 

“Through their total dedication to the mission of Christ, Redemptorists share the self-renunciation of their crucified Lord … and his wholehearted offering of himself for the life of the world. They must, therefore, become signs and witnesses before people of the power of his resurrection, proclaiming new and eternal life.” (Constitution 51)

What does it mean to be a sign and witness to the power of his resurrection today in our wounded world? As we ponder the war and abuses in Ukraine, the victims of violence in so many other conflicts across the globe, the suffering of our common home in this ecological crisis, the effects of the covid pandemic and the crisis of displaced persons, refugees and migrants, we might wonder how we can joyfully celebrate Easter today. As men and women of faith in the living presence of the Risen Jesus, we realize that we need the message of Easter today more than ever, and we want to share this Good News with all we meet. 

This Holy Week, I received an image of the Risen Redeemer from a friend in Ukraine. This Icon is venerated in a city in Eastern Ukraine which was under assault from Russian troops. Russian soldiers shot this image, but they could not destroy the One it represents. And now it offers a message of hope to a suffering people. Despite his wounds, the nail marks from his passion and the holes from the bullets, Jesus our Redeemer is alive and close to us, especially in our most difficult moments. 

This Easter, may we communicate his presence through our compassion and closeness to those most in need. May our lives truly become signs and witness of the power of his resurrection – proclaiming life more vibrant than death, love stronger than hatred, and goodness more powerful than any evil. Christ is Risen! Alleluia, Alleluia! He is Risen Indeed! Alleluia, Alleluia! 

And Jesus Christ is with us always, even to the end of the world!

Through the power of the Holy Spirit, may God bless you and all you love with hope and joy. May Mary, Mother of our Redeemer and our Perpetual Help, walk with you in faith as together we follow Jesus our Redeemer today in mission to our wounded world!

Your brother in Christ our Redeemer,

Fr. Michael Brehl, C.Ss.R.
Superior General

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