An Easter Message from Abbot Mark
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
At the beginning of each New Year comes great joy and expectation regarding all the major events to be experienced over the course of the ensuing twelve months. For so many of us, that joy and excitement have turned to disappointment and even sorrow. Countless events we so eagerly anticipated, are no longer a part of our schedule. For our seniors in the College, this time is particularly upsetting. For our alumni who were planning on walking down the aisle of the Abbey Church, this time of pandemic limits their options in ways they could never have imagined. All of us, of all ages and stations in life, have experienced a sense of loss due to COVID-19. In too many ways, our world has been turned upside down.
The disciples knew exactly what it is like to have their world completely changed over a very brief span of time. They watched as their friend and their teacher, the one in whom they had placed so much hope, was brought into custody, scourged, tortured, and hung on a cross to die. They experienced what it was like to approach the resting place of their rabbi only to find the stone removed and Jesus’ body missing. We know that they were confused and confounded, for they did not yet understand the Scriptures and what they foretold. Yet, we do understand and have come to believe in what the Scriptures foretold: that the Savior of the world must first suffer and die, and then rise from the dead, and shatter death forever. Our faith is founded on witnesses that Jesus was resurrected on the third day and spoke directly to his disciples. We know that Jesus commissioned the apostles to preach to the people and testify that He is the one appointed by God. We know that in the waters of baptism, we were raised with Christ so that we are able to seek what is above. For these reasons, we all cry out this Easter, “this is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad!”
During this Easter season of joy, please know that my brother monks and I continue, as we have always done, to pray for our students, faculty, staff, alumni, trustees, and benefactors each day at our conventual Mass. We miss all of you very much and look forward to being reunited with you when this crisis passes. In the meantime, please do not hesitate to reach out and let us know how you, your family, and your friends are doing. Please consider joining us via livestream for our daily celebration of the Eucharist. We pray that all will get through this time of distress, sorrow, and uncertainty, and rejoice together at the joy of our increased unity and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ.
A Blessed Easter!
Abbot Mark A. Cooper, O.S.B.