She is easily seen by those who love her and she is found by those who seek her. She anticipates those who desire her and shows herself to them first. He who, as soon as it is light keeps watch for her will not have to toil, for he will find her seated at his doors. (Wis. 6:13ff)
Easter, Ascension & Pentecost: April 2010 Archives
who proclaimed the glad tidings: Alleluia! recently come to the waters, and full of God's light and splendor. Alleluia! Alleluia!
Lady, Queen, whom grace from heaven, Has preferred to all on earth, Now renewed, the world is brightened, By your holy virgin-birth.
Oh, how lovely and how wondrous, Is the cure that saved us all: Jesus, in His love, becomes now, Victim for His people's fall!
Now renewed through holy washing, In the font of our rebirth, Soon the chrism's oil and fragrance, Will give strength to us on earth!
To each Christian now is given, Christ's own Flesh as Bread of Life. Christ's own Blood becomes the sweetest, Source of joy in all our strife!
Easter week brings so many joys, graces and consolations. One such joy, grace and consolation that I've been thinking and praying about all week during Mass and praying the Divine Office, is the is new life in Christ that those received into the Church at the Easter Vigil and on Easter Sunday. The gift of salvation given to us is has once again been given to other called not by human concern but by the Holy Spirit. The Neophytes --the newly-initiated Christians who were baptized and confirmed and communicated-- live differently now that the doors of our God-given destiny has been received. Musically we can think of the chant text given above, "Isti sunt Agni novelli," taken from the Cistercian collection Laudes Vespertine (Westmalle, Belgium, 1939) which gives a keen insight into this beautiful mystery of faith. May Christ shower His blessing on all of us!
After your descent into Hades, O Christ, and your Resurrection from the dead, the disciples grieved over your departure. They returned to their occupations and attended to their nets and their boats; but their fishing was in vain. You appeared to them since you are the Lord of all; you commanded them to cast their nets on the right side. Immediately your word became deed. They caught a great number of fish, and they found an unexpected meal prepared for them on the shore; which they immediately ate. Now, make us worthy to enjoy this meal with them in a spiritual manner, O Lord and Lover of us all!
The poetic text above draws our attention to the fact that for the believer, that is, the person who is aware of his or her humanity and spiritual need, Christ is the answer ...
Commenting on appearance of Christ in His glorified body, Saint Augustine of Hippo in Sermon 246 tells us that Christ wanted to offer evidence of His resurrection from the dead as a reality! "Was He perhaps already ascended to the Father when He said: 'Touch me and see'? He let His disciples touch Him, indeed, not only touch but feel, to provide a foundation for faith in the reality of His flesh, in reality of His body [ut fides fiat verae carnis veri corporis]. The well-foundedness of the reality had to be made obvious also through human touch [ut exhibibeatur etiam tactibus humanis solidatus veritatis]. Thus He let Himself be touched by the disciples."
Later on Augustine asks about the women who were asked by the Lord not to touch Him because He had yet made the ascension, "What is this inconsistency? The men could not tocuh Him if not here on earth, while the women would be able to touch Him once He ascended to heaven? But what does touching mean if not believing? By faith we touch Christ. And it is better not to touch Him with faith than feel with the hand and not touch Him with faith."
Augustine points us to the proof Christ offers: faith. "The scar of the wound on His flesh served to heal the wound of disbelief." The Lord wanted to cure those who disbelieved.