Message from Bishop Colli (Easter 2021)
The word Alleluia, which we hear again on Easter after a long period of silence during the Lenten season, is a Hebrew word, which means: “Praise to the Lord.”
The Hebrew word as an expression of praise to God was preserved, untranslated, by the Early Christians as a superlative expression of thanksgiving, joy, and triumph. We sing it today, on Easter and generally throughout the year, as a sign of our praise to God and our joy in the resurrection of Jesus who won for us eternal life with God.
Sometimes when we sing the word, we forget it’s meaning and the joy and exuberance it contains in prayer to God. However, no matter what our situation, we know that this word is exciting and it teaches us that praise to God is an exciting and joyful prayer. It is important for us especially now as we struggle during this time of pandemic, hoping that the joy of alleluia will come soon to our nation and to our families, with the stopping of the Covid-19 virus. In some ways, the vaccines are an “alleluia” moment for us – giving thanks to God for a hopeful future.
Easter is about hopeful moments and joyful expressions. Jesus is raised from the dead and we in turn are promised that we too will rise with Him to eternal life. The Gospel of St. Mark at the Easter Vigil mass reassures us of this event. The angel says to the women, “Do not be alarmed, you are looking for Jesus of Nazareth, who was cruciﬁed. He has been raised; he is not here. Look, there is the place they laid him.” They went away excited and terriﬁed at the same time. This was wonderful news but also very unexpected. They, along with the disciples, would soon learn and see how this too was an “alleluia” moment for them.
As we celebrate Easter this year, we know that things will still be a bit diﬀerent because of the pandemic. Some of us will share in Easter Mass while at home, keeping safe with our families, others will come to church with our limited numbers, others will be alone, and will share their alleluia moment in their personal and private prayer. No matter in what situation we ﬁnd ourselves this Easter, let us not forget, that our prayers will give us strength and courage for the times ahead; our outreach to others will demonstrate our love and concern; our family sharing will strengthen our family bonds and our love; and our patience and understanding in following health protocols, will help keep everyone safe at this time.
Easter is about “alleluia” events both in our churches and in our daily lives. Even now, during this uncertain time, there is much to be thankful for, and much we can share. May this Easter be for each one of us, a true time of “alleluia” as we give thanks and praise to God, as the early Christians did, on the ﬁrst Easter Sunday. May God bless you and your families with special graces this Easter.
Bishop Fred Colli
Bishop of Thunder Bay