"In thy resurrection, O Christ, alleluia.
Let heaven and earth rejoice, alleluia."
The Liturgical Year- Paschal-tide Book II
By: Abbot Dom Gueranger
+ Imprimatur 1927
MONDAY OF THE THIRD WEEK OF EASTER
The first stone of the Church is laid; and on this foundation Jesus now begins to build. The shepherd of the sheep and lambs has been proclaimed; it is time to form the fold. The keys of the kingdom have been given to Peter; it is time to inaugurate the kingdom. Now this Church, this fold, this kingdom, designate a society which is to be called Christian, after the name of its Founder. This society, composed of the disciples of Christ, is destined to receive within it every individual of the human race; and if all do not actually enter, it is not in consequence of any ban of exclusion. It will subsist to the end of time; for there can be no elect out of its pale. It will be One; for Christ says not: "I will build my Churches;' he speaks but of One. It will be holy; for all the means of sanctification are in its keeping. It will be Catholic, that is, Universal, in order that being known in all times and places, men may be able to hear its teachings and follow them. It will be Apostolic; that is to say, that how long soever this world may last, it ail come down, by lawful succession, from these men with whom Jesus is, during these forty days, arranging everything that is connected with its establishment.
Such is to be the Church, out of which there is no salvation for those who, having known her, have refused to become her members. A few days hence, and the world will hear of her existence. The spark that is now but in Judea will soon become a fire spread throughout the whole earth. Before the close of the century, not only will there be members of the Church in every pro vine of the vast Roman Empire, but even in countries where Rome has never planted the standard of her proud eagles. Nay more, this miraculous propagation is to be perpetual - in every page new apostles will set forth, and win new victories for the immortal Church. Nothing human is lasting; but the Church's ceaseless duration will excite the spleen of incredulity and baffle all its calculations. Persecutions, heresies, schisms, apostasies, and scandals - all will strive to work her ruin; but she will survive them all. The descendants of her bitterest foes will call her mother. Thrones and dynasties, nations, and even whole races, will be carried away by the tide of time: she alone will subsist throughout the ages, stretching out her arms to receive all men, teaching ever the same truths, repeating, even to the last day, the same symbol of faith, and ever faithful to the instructions given her by our Risen Jesus during these forty days preceding his Ascension.
How shall we worthily thank thee, O God our Saviour, for thy having, even at our first entrance into life, made us members of this thy immortal Spouse, which alone possesses thy heavenly teachings and the means whereby is wrought salvation? We have no need to search for thy Church; it is in and by her that we live, even here below, the supernatural life, the perfection wot which is to be given to us in heaven, provided we be faithful to grace. Oh! show thy mercy to those countless souls who have not had the privilege we have enjoyed, and whose entrance into thy Church is to cost them many a painful sacrifice. Strengthen them with light; give them courage; rouse them from indifference; bless their efforts; that thus, O divine Shepherd! thy fold may increase, and thy Church, thy Spouse, may be, as thou hast promised she ever shall be, the joyful mother of children!
Let us continue our homage to the mystery of the Pasch, borrowing another canticle from the inexhaustible Adam of Stain-Victor.
The Sunday's light has shone upon us; the brilliant light, the light above all other, the light of light and joy, the light of immortal glory. This is the day privileged from the very beginning of the world; the day enriched with the prerogative of Christ's Resurrection.
Let the children of light exult with the hope of everlasting joy: let the members so act as to merit to be like their Head. Our feast is solemn, so are our prayers. The grandest of days should have the grandest joy.
The Paschal victory is the most glorious of feasts. It was promised to our fathers under many types. how the veil is rent, and all is made visible that was foretold in the Old LAw. The reality effaces the the figure; and the light throws light on the shadow.
The Messias - he that came to wipe away our sins- has revealed to us the mysteries of the spotless Lamb and the Kid. By his undeserved death, he delivered us from the death we so truly deserved. Death, making prey on him whom he had no claim, was deprived of the prey that was justly his own.
The Flesh, that knew no sin, cancelled the sins of ours; it rose again on the third day, and, reblooming, refreshed all wavering hearts.
O admirable death of Jesus! give us to live in Jesus. O undying death! give us the prize of life. Amen.