Resurrection can inspire hope, love in a divided world, USCCB president says

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The risen Christ is depicted in a stained-glass window at St. Aloysius Church in Great Neck, N.Y. Easter, the feast of the Resurrection, is April 1 this year. (Gregory A. Shemitz/CNS)

WASHINGTON (CNS) — Easter is a time to remember the joy that Jesus is alive and that his resurrection can inspire hope and love in the world, said Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

It is through the resurrection that people can be alive in Christ and respect and love others, he said in an Easter message released April 1.

“Jesus lives. This is the simple message of Easter. And because Jesus lives — so does hope, so does love, and so do we. Although Christ knew the pain of the cross and the isolation of the tomb, His death and resurrection gives us the joy of the resurrection and the gift of eternal life,” Cardinal DiNardo said.

Noting that a large part of today’s culture “tempts us to see one another as different, dividing us into ever more polarized camps,” Cardinal DiNardo added that Jesus walked the Way of the Cross for all people.

“Everyone is in need of His love, and everyone is offered His love,” he said.

Christ offers the “gift of life and joy. How we choose to live that life, however, is up to us,” he said. “Do we always treat one another as sisters and brothers in the eyes of God? Can we look beyond the distractions and despair of our own suffering to the hope of the world to come? Jesus endured the pain and isolation to show us the path to life.”

The cardinal also called on people to “acknowledge the gift of life Christ has given us” and to “look into the empty tomb and proclaim with joy, proclaim with all our hearts and with our lives — that Jesus lives!”