Easter Joy: Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!
By Most Rev. Roger P. Morin
Bishop of Biloxi
What words are there to communicate infinity and eternity? We strive to put into
words those dimensions that are beyond the grasp and capacity of the human
mind. So, we cannot adequately express God's infinite love and boundless mercy.
We can only imagine, in an imperfect way, that which is beyond imagination
because we are limited. We need help to understand all that God freely does for
us. The help that we need is given through Jesus, the Incarnate Word, who makes
God's love visible for us.
We have every reason to be grateful for the divinely inspired renditions of those
events that transpired at that New Testament Passover that we call Holy
Thursday. If the reality of Holy Sacrifice had not occurred and the words of Jesus,
"This is my body. This is my blood." had not been written down and handed on in
history, we would have even less to help and support our belief in Jesus' gift of
Without what is written down in the Gospels about that Last Supper, we would
have even greater struggles in understanding how the Way of the Cross was the
path that Jesus accepted as testament of His love for us. Jesus' words to His
disciples on Holy Thursday are embodied in footsteps to Calvary on Good Friday.
The reality of torturous suffering, a step-by-step Passion, freely-given is testament
to a love that is beyond our human understanding. We think that we understand
love. We think that we understand sacrificial suffering but we have to stretch our
minds as far as is humanly possible and open ourselves up in order to grasp an
agony unto death that is for the sake of bringing blessings to others.
What Jesus does for us on Holy Thursday and Good Friday is beyond what we can
imagine for ourselves. The Gospel renditions of what Jesus wished to achieve for
us makes the most sense at Easter as we celebrate the Resurrection: the Alleluia
moment of Victory over sin and death that lifts us up from a lowly earthly
dwelling to an eternal heavenly joy in God's house. The epitome of Divine Mercy
is shown in a way that can evoke prayers of praise and thanksgiving when we
utter in total amazement: 'Jesus accepted all this misery for me. Jesus brought
evidence of Divine Mercy into the world. Jesus was born for me. Jesus died for
The awesome reality of freely-given total sacrifice eludes our understanding and
is enlightened by the graceful gift of faith. When we can say that we believe that
the scourged and pierced Body of Jesus is a gift given on our behalf, we can take
little steps on our journey into eternity. When mistakes, selfish detours, our sins,
prevent progress towards Christ-like living, the merciful call of love is everpresent,
God is always loving us and offering merciful forgiveness. The loving
invitation is never revoked. The gentle call to repentance and renewal remains
unchanged. God inspires, over and over again, a humble response for us. The
prodigal Father remains with open arms calling out to us words of welcome:
“Come to me and bathe in my merciful forgiveness."
In order to seize a stunning moment of mercy, we should lift our eyes an meditate
and behold the God who hangs on a cross bleeding and gasping merciful words: “Father, forgive them, ...” And, in that miraculous moment, merciful love comes
showering down on all us sinners being empowered to show mercy to other. As
we accept the empowerment as merciful ministers of love for our brothers and
sisters, we catch a glimmer of bring true Easter Christians. We come to
understand a little more how sacrificial love leads to our ultimate resurrection
and we proclaim gratitude for Jesus' crucifixion that is prelude to victory over sin
and death. So, with an enriched and more lively faith, we praise Christ our Light
whose victory is our victory and we joyously proclaim: Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!
+Roger Paul Morin
Bishop of Biloxi Easter 2016