The Resurrection of the Lord
Presence of God – O risen Jesus, make me worthy to share in the joy of Your Resurrection.
“This is the day which the Lord hath made; let us be glad and rejoice therein” (Roman Breviary). This is the most excellent day, the happiest day in the whole year, because it is the day when “Christ, our Pasch, has been sacrificed.” Christmas, too, is a joyous feast, but whereas Christmas vibrates with a characteristic note of sweetness, the Paschal solemnity resounds with an unmistakable note of triumph; it is joy for the triumph of Christ, for His victory. The liturgy of the Mass shows us this Paschal joy under two aspects: joy in truth (Epistle: 1 Cor 5:7,8) and joy in charity (Postcommunion).
Joy in truth: According to the vibrant admonition of St. Paul, “Let us celebrate the feast, not with old leaven … but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.” In this world there are many ephemeral joys, based on fragile, insecure foundations; but the Paschal joy is solidly grounded on the knowledge that we are in the truth, the truth which Christ brought to the world and which He confirmed by His Resurrection. The Resurrection tells us that our faith is not in vain, that our hope is not founded on a dead man, but on a living one, the Living One par excellence, whose life is so strong that it vivifies, in time as in eternity, all those who believe in Him. “I am the Resurrection and the Life; he that believeth in Me, although he be dead, shall live” (John 11:25). Joy in truth: for only sincere and upright souls who seek the truth lovingly and, still more, “do the truth” can fully rejoice in the Resurrection. We are sincere when we recognize ourselves for what we are, with all our faults, deficiencies, and need for conversion. From this knowledge of our miseries springs the sincere resolve to purify ourselves of the old leaven of the passions in order to be renewed completely in the risen Christ. Truth, however, must be accomplished in charity–veritatem facientes in caritatem, doing the truth in charity (Ephesians 4:15); therefore the Postcommunion prayer that is placed on our lips is more timely than ever: “Pour forth upon us, O Lord, the spirit of Thy love, to make us of one heart.” Without unity and mutual charity, there can be no real Paschal joy.
“Lord Jesus, good and gentle Jesus, who deigned to die for our sins and to rise for our justification, I beg You, by Your glorious Resurrection, to bring me out of the sepulcher of my vices and sins, so that I may merit to have a real share in Your Resurrection. O most kind Lord, who ascended to Heaven in the triumph of Your glory and are seated at the right hand of the Father, You who are all-powerful, raise me up to You, so that I may run in the odor of Your ointments, run without slackening, while You call and guide me. My soul thirsts; draw me to the divine spring of eternal satiety; lift me out of the abyss toward this living spring, so that I may drink as much as I can of it, and live on it forever, O my God, my Life.
“I pray You, Lord, give my soul the wings of an eagle, that I may fly without weakening, fly until I reach the splendor of Your glory. There, You will feed me on Your secrets at the table of the heavenly citizens, in the place of Your Pasch, near the celestial fount of eternal satiety. Let my heart rest in You, my heart which resembles a great ocean, agitated by tumultuous waves.
“When shall I see You, O precious, long-desired, amiable Lord? When shall I appear before Your face? When shall I be satiated with Your beauty? When will You take me out of this dark prison, that I may confess Your Name, without being confused any longer? What shall I do, a wretch loaded down with the chains of my human condition? What shall I do? As long as we are in the body, we are journeying toward the Lord. We have not here a lasting dwelling, but we seek a future city, for our homeland is in heaven.
“As long as I carry about with me these fragile members, give me the grace, O Lord, to cling to You, for he who adheres to the Lord is one spirit with Him” (St. Augustine).
Note from Dan: This posts on the Resurrection of the Lord is provided courtesy of Baronius Press and contains one of two meditations for the day. If you would like to get the full meditation from one of the best daily meditation works ever compiled, you can learn more here: Divine Intimacy. Please honor those who support us by purchasing and promoting their products.
Art for this post on the Resurrection of the Lord: Easter Sunday Banner, Estler, 2014, all rights reserved. Resurrection of Christ, Carl Heinrich Bloch, 1875, PD-US author’s life plus 100 years or less, Wikimedia Commons; Father Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalen, mirror from open source material.