EASTER SUNDAY – 4 April
A Blessed and Holy Easter to you all!
Jesus Christ is risen!
He is truly risen!
[Easter is the Anglo- Saxon word for April, and was derived, as Venerable Bede tells us, (in his book De temporum ratione c. 13,) from Easter, a goddess of our pagan ancestors. Others derive Easter from Oest, Oost the Saxon for rising, or the east: and hence, Osteren, the Resurrection. Tr. from Butler’s Moveable Feasts.]
THIS IS THE DAY WHICH THE LORD HATH MADE;
LET US BE GLAD AND REJOICE THEREIN!
The night between Saturday and Sunday has well nigh run its course and the day-dawn is appearing. The Mother of sorrows is waiting, in courageous hope and patience, for the blissful moment of her Jesus’ return.
… But Jesus is not to tarry in the gloomy sepulchre. Quicker than a ray of light through a crystal, He passes through the stone that closes the entrance of the cave. Pilate had ordered his seal to be put upon this stone and a guard of soldiers is there, to see that no-one touches it. Untouched it is and unmoved and yet, Jesus is free!
Thus, as the holy Fathers unanimously teach us, was it at His birth: -He appeared to the gaze of Mary, without having offered the slightest violence to her maternal womb. The birth and the resurrection, the commencement and the end of Jesus’ mission, these two mysteries bear on them, the seal of resemblance – in the first, it is a Virgin Mother; in the last, it is a sealed tomb giving forth its captive God.
And while this Jesus, this Man-God, thus breaks the sceptre of death, the stillness of the night is undisturbed. His and our victory has cost Him no effort. 0 death! where is now thy kingdom? Sin had made us thy slaves; thy victory was complete and now, lo! thou thyself art defeated! Jesus, whom thou didst exultingly hold under thy law, ( 1 Apec. 1, 5. 2 I. Cor xv, 26. ‘Ibid. 56) has set Himself free and we, after thou hast domineered over us for a time, we too shall be free from thy grasp. The tomb thou makest for us, will become to us the source of a new life, for He that now conquers thee is ‘the First-born among the dead ~ and to-day is the Pasch, the Passover, the deliverance, for Jesus and for us, His brethren.
He has led the way, we shall follow and the day will come, when thou, the enemy, that destroys all things, shalt thyself be destroyed by immortality. Thy defeat dates from this moment of Jesus’ Resurrection,and, with the great Apostle, we say to thee:
‘O death! where is thy victory?
O death! where is thy sting?‘
Servant of God Abbot Dom Prosper Guéranger OSB (1805-1875)
Abbot of Solesmes
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