Easter Message from our Bishop

“Why do you look for the living among the dead?  He is not here but has risen” (Lk 24:5)

Dear Sisters and Brothers in the Diocese of Peterborough,

The Church embraces the celebrations of this Holy Week, commemorating the passion and death and resurrection of the Lord.  Thereafter we advance quickly to the wonderful season of Easter, a time of renewal and hope and a time to see with the eyes of faith the great wonders that God has done and continues to do.

It is said that one of the best ways to get the attention of your audience is to ask a probing question at the start of a talk.  So, give full marks to the angels at the Lord’s tomb that Easter morning, who asked one of the most probing questions in all of history: “why do you look for the living among the dead?”  Part challenge, part correction and part invitation to see things in a new way, it must have taken the faithful women by surprise.  But apparently it was a rhetorical question, since the angels did not wait for an answer, but went on to explain, “He is not here, but has risen.”  Once they had the attention of their audience, they wasted no time in sharing the good news – good news that the women would also quickly share, as they went to tell the apostles. 

Pope Francis has said that the question addressed to the women that Easter morning is posed to each one of us.   “Why do you look for the living among the dead?”  It’s one that should grab our attention and invite us to a new way of seeing things.  Do we cling to what is sterile, bleak, and hopeless, just because it is familiar?  Do we give in to cynicism and defeatism, supposing that things in the world, the Church, our neighbourhoods, and families can never improve?  Easter is a call to reject the malaise that can afflicts so much of modern life and to embrace a new way of living with a spirit of hope.  As the Holy Father has said, “Death, solitude and fear are not the last word.  There is a word that transcends them, a word that only God can speak; it is the word of the resurrection.”

The angels’ question should snap us to attention this Easter, reminding us that because of the Lord’s resurrection, we can always lay claim to hope.  May God bless you and yours richly in this season of great joy.

Yours in Christ,

+ Most Reverend Daniel Miehm

Bishop of Peterborough