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Easter Sunday




 






Easter Day: The Resurrection the Triumph of Faith and of Hope


At that time Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought sweet spices, that, coming, they might anoint Jesus. And very early in the morning, the first day of the week, they come to the sepulchre, the sun being now risen. And they said one to another: Who shall roll us back the stone from the door of the sepulchre? And looking, they saw the stone rolled back. For it was very great And entering into the sepulchre, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, clothed with a white robe: and they were astonished. Who saith to them: Be not affrighted; you seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified: He is risen, He is not here; behold the place where they laid Him. But go, tell His disciples, and Peter, that He goeth before you into Galilee: there you shall see Him, as He told you.


Summary of the Morrow’s Meditation


We will consecrate our meditation on the great feast of tomorrow to the consideration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ as the triumph, first, of our faith; second, of our hope. We will then make the resolution: first, to praise, glorify, and bless the risen Christ by frequent aspirations, alleluia! second, often to give expression to acts of faith in the divinity of Jesus Christ, in His religion, and in His Church, as well as acts of hope of a future life. Our spiritual nosegay shall be the exclamation of the Church on this great feast: “Praise and love to the risen Jesus Christ.


Meditation for the Morning


Let us celebrate this morning in praising, adoring, and loving the risen Jesus. Let us rejoice and be thrilled with gladness. This is the day which the Lord has made, the day of victory and of triumph. Let us unite with the angels in singing glory to God, alleluia!


The resurrection of Jesus Christ is the triumph of our faith


Jesus Christ has really risen again. The apostles who attest it and who sealed with blood their testimony could not have been deceived, seeing that they had conversed with Him during forty days; they could not have wished to deceive us, seeing that their dearest interests in this world and in the next were opposed to such an idea (I Cor. xv:19), and besides, Jesus Christ, if He had not risen again, could not have been, in their eyes, anything else but an impostor who had cheated them in predicting His resurrection; they would not have been able to deceive us even if they had wished to do so, since the Roman soldiers, who had been appointed to guard the sepulchre, would not have allowed them to carry away the body. It is therefore quite certain, O Lord Jesus, that Thou didst really rise again; it is really quite certain, therefore, that Thou art the great Almighty God, since a dead man cannot rise of himself (Rom. i:4), and that God alone, who is the Master of life and death, is capable of such a miracle. O holy feast of Easter! how dear thou art to me; the resurrection of my Saviour is a guarantee to me of His divinity, and is thereby the complete guarantee of all my beliefs (II Tim. i:12); for if Jesus Christ be God, His religion is divine; the Gospel, which is His word, is divine; the sacraments which He has established are divine; the Church which He has founded is divine, and in believing it I am certain of not deceiving myself. In following my faith, I am therefore following an infallible guide; and in making the sacrifices it demands from me, I know I do not lose my pains, and that God will recompense me. In vain the infidel attacks my belief, in vain the nations rage, the Jews cry out scandal, and the Gentiles folly; Jesus Christ risen replies to all, and there is not a single objection which does not fall into pieces against the stone of His sepulchre. What a consolation! what a triumph for faith which has no need of anything except this single fact in order to be fully justified! How just it is to reanimate this faith on this beautiful day, to believe the things which religion teaches us even as though we saw them (Heb. xi:27), and to show ourselves to be men of faith in our conduct, in our language, at prayer, in church, everywhere and always.


The resurrection of Jesus Christ is the triumph of our hope


Man, who lives only a little while here below in the midst of many miseries, has need of hope; but let him rejoice today by singing with the Church: “Jesus Christ, my hope, is risen.” The resurrection of the Saviour is the warrant and the assurance to us of a similar resurrection, which will compensate us for all the troubles of this life. “Christ is risen from the dead, the first fruit of them that sleep” (I Cor. xv:20), says the Apostle. Therefore, after Him, the others who are dead will also rise again from their ashes. We form with Him one perfect whole, a body of which He is the head, says the same apostle; but the members must follow the state in which is their head. What would a body be of which the head would be on one side and the limbs on another? Would it be suitable for the Holy Spirit thus to have designated, under the figure of a head and of members, Jesus Christ and the faithful, if they were to live separate from one another? As, therefore, we form but one body with Jesus Christ, His resurrection implies ours also, even as ours supposes His; the one is essentially connected with the other. “If Christ be preached” says St Paul, “that He arose again from the dead, how do some among you say that there is no resurrection of the dead?” (I Cor. xv:12) a consoling dogma, which forms the triumph of our hope amidst the labours and sufferings of this life; for, if we are destined to rise with Jesus Christ, our tears will be therefore changed into joy, our trials into delights, our poverty into abundance, our confusion into glory, our death into eternal life. “I know,” says Job, “that my Redeemer liveth, and in the last day I shall rise out of the earth, and I shall be clothed again with my skin, and in my flesh I shall see my God, whom I myself shall see and my eyes shall behold. This my hope is laid up in my bosom” (Job xix:25–27). “The King of the world,” says the second of the Maccabees, “will raise us up, who die for His laws, in the resurrection of eternal life.” “These I have from heaven” said the third, “but for the laws of God I now despise them, because I hope to receive them again from Him.” “It is better” said the fourth, “being put to death by men, to look for hope from God, to be raised up again by Him” (II Macc. vii:9, 11, 14). Lastly, all the martyrs and all the just have died in this hope, awaiting a new earth and new heavens, where the bodies of the saints will be glorious, impassible, immortal, shining like the sun, agile like spirits, where there will be no more sorrows or tears, but where all will be glory and happiness. O magnificent hope! How thankful shall then be to have suffered in patience, to have mortified and deprived ourselves of the vain enjoyments of this world!


Resolutions and spiritual nosegay as above.


 



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