“Cum resurrectionis”: a pastoral epistle for Easter 2023


As we celebrate the resurrection of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, let us reflect on the profound meaning of this event. The resurrection of Christ is not only a historical fact but also a promise of our own resurrection.

As Catholics, we believe in the resurrection of the body. This means that at the end of time, our bodies will be reunited with our souls, and we will experience eternal life in both body and soul. This is a fundamental part of our faith, we confess it in the Creed and is a source of great hope and joy.

The resurrection of Christ is the first and greatest example of this truth. When Jesus rose from the dead, He did so in a glorified body. His body was transformed and perfected, no longer subject to the limitations of time, space, or decay. This is the same kind of body that we will have in the resurrection.

The resurrection of Christ is not just an example for us to follow; it is also the source of our own resurrection. Through His death and resurrection, Jesus overcame sin and death and opened the way for us to share in His victory.

As St. Paul writes, “For if we have been united with Him in a death like His, we shall certainly be united with His in a resurrection like His” (Romans 6:5).

St. Thomas Aquinas, in his Summa Theologica, explains that the resurrection of the body is necessary for the fullness of human happiness. He writes, “For since the soul is a part of human nature, man cannot be completely happy unless he is restored in both soul and body” (ST III, Q54, A1).

St. Augustine also wrote about the resurrection of the body, “For just as Christ died and rose again in the body, so also will those who are in Christ rise again in the body” (Enchiridion, ch. 84).

In a time when some are doubting the relevance of the physical body to their sense of self, let us remember that our faith is incarnational. Christ reconciles spirit (God) and flesh (Creation) in His incarnation and through the Cross offered the totality of Himself to God for our redemption.

Through Christ’s resurrection, He enables us to experience something of that reconciliation in this life, having won for us God’s grace. We have the assurance that in Christ, we will experience a fullness of joy and peace that only comes from being united with Him in body and soul.

As we celebrate Easter, let us renew our faith in the resurrection of the body. Let us rejoice in the victory of Christ over sin and death, and let us strive to live our lives in a way that reflects this victory.

May God bless you all, and may the joy of the resurrection fill your hearts and homes this Easter season.

With my prayers for you all this feast day,


In Dominica Resurrectionis MMXXIII A.D.


Deus, qui hodiérna die per Unigénitum tuum æternitátis nobis áditum, devícta morte, reserásti: vota nostra, quæ præveniéndo aspíras, étiam adjuvándo proséquere. Per eúndem Dóminum nostrum Jesum Christum Fílium tuum, qui tecum vivit et regnat in unitáte Spíritus Sancti, Deus, per ómnia sǽcula sæculórum. Amen

O God, who, on this day, through Thine only-begotten Son, hast conquered death, and thrown open to us the gate of everlasting life, give effect by thine aid to our desires, which Thou dost anticipate and inspire. Through the same Jesus Christ, thy Son, Our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end. Amen

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