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April 4, 2010

An Easter Message
                           
        Except for a small sliver of the North Country where the presidential range has stubbornly retained its snowy white cap, it seems our friend the groundhog, who predicted a long winter, was mistaken.  Spring came early this year.  Easter Sunday follows suit, occurring at the start of April, a few weeks before we can expect to see bountiful blossoms replace the browns and grays of the Lenten season.

        In reflecting upon the nature of Easter this year, the temperamental New England weather gives me inspiration.  It is a reminder that life is unpredictable and to live as a servant of God you can never be too sure about what is around the corner.  We may be able to find Easter Sunday on a calendar and circle it with confidence saying,  “That is the day we celebrate the Resurrection of Our Lord Jesus Christ.”  However, it is not so easy to predict the date and time when God may call on us to do some service in His name.  “Blessed are those servants whom the master finds vigilant on his arrival. . .You also must be prepared, for at an hour you do not expect, the Son of Man will come,” says Christ in one of his parables. (Luke 12:37, 40)

        At first thought, I find that a little alarming.  What if He calls on me at an inopportune time?  Will I be ready to answer Him?  Yet upon reflection I find solace in His caution.  It is like our fickle weather:  We never can be sure of rain or shine.  Having an umbrella on hand – that is, being prepared to deal with whatever may come – is what God wants of us.  Christ is urging us to be active in our faith, to live lives firmly planted in Him, and never to settle for just the ordinary way of life.

        So please remember during this Easter Season that God is with us every moment of the day, and not only during the times when we make an appointment with Him on the calendar.  It is a daunting thought to think we are to live every moment of the day in anticipation of God’s call, yet it is the goal we strive for, - we who desire God’s guidance and grace.  He consoles and encourages us every day not to be complacent but to find new life in Him.  Have joyful Easter!

                               John B. McCormack,
                               Bishop of Manchester