Standing in "the joyful light of Easter," we know "our world is still darkened by loss and despair," but Jesus rises "to tell us that his love is stronger than death," the president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops said in an Easter statement.

"Christ is risen! This is the joy of Easter. And what a gift it is to hear these words in this time of the coronavirus," Archbishop Jose H. Gomez of Los Angeles said April 12.

"Jesus asked us to carry our cross with him during this long Lent. This has been a time when we confront the reality that our life is fragile," he said. "This has been a time for us to reflect on what really matters, and what makes life truly worth living."

Christ has passed through "the valley of the shadow of death," Archbishop Gomez said. "And there is no evil that we should fear. He will wipe away every tear from our eyes."

"Christ is risen and we will rise with him!" he said. "This is the promise of Easter. And God does not withdraw his promise, even when Easter comes during a pandemic."

Archbishop Gomez urged Catholics to stay close to Jesus and to Mary.

"May she help us to always carry our cross with her Son, that we may be raised up with him and share in his Resurrection," he said. "May you and your families have a blessed Easter season."