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An Easter Message from Bishop Hollingsworth

In the first collect for Easter Day we pray, “Grant us so to die daily to sin, that we may evermore live with him in the joy of his resurrection.” Even after the forty-day fast of Lent, we continue daily to empty ourselves of all that separates us from God and one

another, so that there will be room in our lives for this new life given to us in the resurrection of Jesus. In a sense, we seek continually to be like Joseph of Arimathea’s borrowed tomb on the third day, emptied of death and fear and sorrow, and liberated by Jesus to embrace what the Eucharistic prayer calls “new and unending life in him.”

In the abundance of our Easter joy and celebration, may we not forget how empty and broken are the hearts of God’s beloved in Mariupol, Bucha, Kyiv, and innumerable war-torn places around the world. As Easter people, we are called to fill that emptiness with hope and healing, with humility and compassion, and with the generous, unconditional, impartial, and inclusive love of God.

To that end, we pray on Easter morning that, emptied continually of self-interest and self-focus, we will have room in our souls for all that God intends for us to bring to the world. May our sins of prejudice and pride, of self-protection and self-service, of resentment and retaliation, be buried time and again with Christ. May our doubt and despair, our fear and shame, and our violence and intransigence be abandoned as we join his sacrifice. And in their place, may we find a spaciousness for that peace that passes all understanding and that love that knows no bounds, so that we, ourselves, may together be the risen body of Christ.

Grant us, therefore, gracious God, so to die daily to sin, that we may evermore live with Christ in the joy of his resurrection. Amen.

With every blessing of the risen Jesus,

The Rt. Rev. Mark Hollingsworth, Jr.

Bishop of Ohio

Easter 2022

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