Sunday Morning Meditation Of The Holy Resurrection
This day (after thou hast made the sign of the Cross, and prepared thy self hereunto.) thou hast to meditate upon Sº the mystery of the holy Resurrection: in which thou mayst consider the four principal points: to witt:
1. Of the descending of our Savior into that place of hell, which is commonly called by the Learned divines: Limbus Patrum.
2. Of the Reſurrection of his holy body:
3. Of his appearing first to our blessed Lady,
4. And afterwards to S. Marie Magdalene, and to the disciples.
THE TEXT OF THE HOLY EVANGELISTS
Upon the Sunday ensuing after this Friday of the Paſſion, very early in the morning before the break of the day, Marie Magdalene came to the ſepulcher; and save the stone removed from the tomb, and perceived that the body was not there. The which, when she found not, ſhe stood without the ſepulcher in the garden weeping. And as ſhe wept, she bowed her self down into the sepulcher, and save two Angels in white, sitting the one at the head, and the other at the feet of the place, where the body of Jesus was laid, And they said unto her: Woman, why weepest thou? She made answer, and said: They have taken away my Lord, and I know not where they have laid him. When ſhe had thus ſaid, ſhe turned her self back, and save Jesus standing, and knew not that is was Jesus.
Jesus said unto her: Woman, why weepest thou? Whom seekest thou? She supposing that he had been the gardener of that garden, said unto him: Sir, if thou hast taken him away, tell me where thou hast laid him, and I will take him away. Then said Jesus unto her: Marie. And she said unto him, Master. Jesus said unto her. Touch me not, but go, and tell my brethren, that I ascend to my father, and your father, to my God, and your God. Marie Magdalene came forthwith away, and told these things unto the Disciples, saying: I have seen our Lord, and he told me these, and theſe things, that I should tell them unto you.
The same day, late in the evening, when the doors were shut, where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, Jesus came, and stood in the midst of them, and said unto them. Peace be with you, And when he had so said, he shewed unto them his hands, and his side. Then were the disciples glad, when they had seen our Lord. Then said Jesus again unto them: Peace be with you. As my father sent me, so send I you. And when he had said those words, he breathed upon them, and said: Receive the Holy Ghost. Whose sins so ever ye shall forgive, they be forgiven unto them: and whose sins so ever ye shall retain, they are retained.
At that time, Thomas one of the twelve, who was also called Didimus was not with the disciples when Jesus came.The other disciples therefore (when he came) said unto him: We have seen our Lord. But he said unto them. Except I see his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the holes of them, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe it. And eight days after, his Disciples were against within, and Thomas with them. Then came Jesus again, when the doors were shut, and standing in the midst of them: said: Peace he with you.
And after he said unto Thomas. Put thy finger here, and see my hands, and bring hither thy hand, and put it into my side, and be no more incredulous, but faithful. Thomas answered, and said: My Lord, and my God.
And Jesus said unto him. Thomas, for because thou hast seen, thou believes. Blessed are they, that have not seen, and have believed. Many other signs did Jesus work also in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book; but these things are written, that ye might believe, that Jeſus Christ is the son of God , and that believing, ye might have life by him.
MEDITATIONS UPON THESE POINTS OF THE TEXT
This is the day that our Lord hath made, let us rejoice, and be merry in it. Our Lord who is the maker of all times, hath made every day: but this day, especially he is said to have made, for so much as on this day he finished the most excellent of all his works, to wit, the work of our redemption. Now as this work is called (by way of excellency) the works of God, by reason that it far passeth all his other works: even so also this day is called the day of God, for that upon this day he finished this work, which was the most excellent of all his works.
It is also said that our Lord made this day, because whatsoever was done in it, was done only by his own hand. In other feasts and mysteries of our Savior, there is ever something that we have done our selves, because there is always in them something of pain, which pain grew of our sin, and therefore there is something belonging unto us. But this day is not a day of travel, nor of pain, but a putting away, and banishment of all pain, and a fulfilling of all glory, and therefore it is wholly and purely the day of God. Who is he then that will not rejoice upon such a day as this is? This day all the humanity of Christ rejoiced: The blessed mother of Christ rejoiced: the disciples of Christ rejoiced: heaven and earth rejoiced: yea hell itself had his part of this joy. This day the son shined more clearly than it did any other day, because it was meet that it should serve our Lord with his light on this day of his rejoicing, as it had served him before with his darkness on the day of his Passion. The heavens which before in the day of his paſſion became dark, becauſe they would not ſee their Meditation for creator naked, do now on this day shine with a singular clearness, to see him how he cometh fourth as a conqueror out of the sepulcher. Let the heavens therefore rejoice, and thou O earth take part of this joy: because this day there shine a greater brightness out of the sepulcher, than from the very sun itself, that giveth light in the heavens. A certain holy Father given much to contemplation sayth, that every Sunday morning when he rose to martins, he took so great joy by calling to mind the mystery of this day, that it seemed to him, that all creatures both of heaven, and earth, did sing at that hour, with loud voices, and say. In thy resurrection O Christ, Alleluia. The heavens and earth rejoice, Alleluia.
Now to underſtand somewhat of the mystery of this day, consider firſt of all, how our Savior having finiſhed that painful journey of his paſſion, as he aſcended with passing great charity upon the cross for our sake, even so did he descend down into hell with the like love and charity, to finish the work of our reparation. For as he took death as a mean to deliver vs from death: even ſo did he likewiſe go down to hell, using that as a mean to deliver ſuch as be his from hell.
Now therefore let us consider, how this noble triumphant conqueror goeth down into hell, clothed with brightness and strength, whoſe entry Eusebius Emisenus describes in these words. O beautiful light, which shining from the highest part of heaven, didst give light with a sudden and unwonted brightness to them that were in darkness, and in the shadow of death. For at the very instant, that our Savior deſcended thither, immediately that everlasting dark night shined very brightly, and the noise of them, that there lamented ceased forthwith, and all that cruel route of tormentors trembled, to behold our Savior Christ present. There were the princes of Edom troubled, and the mighty of Moab quaked for fear, and the inhabitants of the land of Canaan were ſo- re amased, and astonished. Incontinently all tho- ſe infernall tormentors began in the midst of their obscure darkness to murmure emó- ; themselves,and to say: Who is this,that is o terrible, so mighty, and withal so bright? Therc was neuer ſeene anie man like unto this in our quarters.There was never the like per- ſon ſent into theſe dennes from the begin- ninge of the worlde vnto this day. What? he loketh as one that would rather aſſault vs, than paie here anie dette: and as one that would #: geue vs an overthrow, than be punniſhed as a ſinner. He ſeemeth to be a Iudge, and no guiltie perſon. Meditation for Ginſ;. brake our ſtronge incloſures, and entered thus perforce upon vs? What maie he be, that is of fuch a mightie puiſſance? If he were faultie, he would not hauebene ſo hardie? And if he had broughte with him anie obſcuritie of fynne, he coulde neuerhaue thus geuen light to our darkness with his brightnes? If he be God, what hath he to doe in hell? If he be a man, how is it that he is ſo bold: If he be God, what hath he to doe in the sepulcher: If he be a man,how happeneth it,that he hath spoyled our strong prison of Limbus,
O Cross that hast after this manner defeyted our hopes, and bene the cause of this our great loss, and dammag. Upon a tree we gay- ned all our riches, and now upon a tree we loſe them all again.
Such words as these murmured those in- fernall feindes among themſelves, at what time the noble triumphant conqueror our Savior Christ entered therein, to deliuer his priſoners. There stood all the souls of the iuſt gathered together, that had from the beginninge of the worlde, vntill that howre departed out of this lyfe. There mightyee ha- ue ſeene,one Prophet ſawed a ſonder:an other ſtoned:an other hauinge his necke broké with a barre of wron: and . that had with other kyndes of death glorified almighty God... O gloriouſe companie? O moſt noble treaſure of heaueni O most magnificent, and rich par- te of the triumphe of our Sauiour Chriſter ThereHe cémeth with great might to fight, and not to ſuffer anie payne. Where ſtoode our garde, and the porters of our gates, when this conqueror Exod. 24. Sondaie morninge." 13o -=- *-i- ºl. Yºº-Yºº-º- There were thoſe two firſt perſons (to wit: Adam, and Eue) who in the beginninge peo- pled, and increaſed the world; which two, as they were the firſt in ſynne, ſo were they the firſt alſo in faith, and hope. There was that Genſe. holie olde man Noé, who by buyldinge of the great Arke, preſerued ſeede that the worl- de might be repleniſhed, and peopled againe, after the ceaſinge of the waters of the flou- de.There was the Patriarke Abraham the firſt father of the beleeuynge people,who deſerued before all others to receiue the teſtament of God, and the ſigne, and ſeparation of his fami- lye from others, by the marke of Circumci- ſion in their fleaſhe. There was his obedient Gem'ſ 12. ſonne Iſacke,who in caryengewpon his ſhoul- ders the woode wherewith he should be sacrificed, repreſented the ſacrifice, àd redéption of the worlde. There was Iacob the holie fa- ther of the twelue trybes, who by puttinge vpon him an others apparell, and ſtraunge armentes, gayned his fathers bleſſinge:which j the miſterie of the humanitie and in- carnation of the euerlaſtinge worde. There Lut... was the holie S.Iohn Baptiſt alſo, as a gueſt, and newe inhabitor of that lande : and #. ſe the bleſſed oldeman Simeon, who woulde not depart out of this worlde, vntill he had ſeene with his eies the redeemer of the worl- de, and receyued him in his armes; and ſonge like a ſwanne before his death that ſweete ſonge: Nunc dimitti: ore.There had the poore tººls. - R iſ Geneſz7.,Meditation for Pſalm.41. Pſal,84. ſeelie Lazarus mentioned in the goſpell his place alſo, who by meanes of his ſoores, and patience, deſerued to be partaker of that ſo noble companie,and hope.
All this quyer, and aſſemblie of holie ſou- les were there mourninge, and fighinge for this daie. And in the middeſt of them (as maiſter of the chappell) was that holie kin- ge , and Prophet Dauid, who without ceaſſinge repeted his auncient lamentation...As the hart longethe after thefountaines of haters, euen ſ, doth my ſºule longeafter thee my God. My teares were bread vnto me daie, and night, whiles thoſaie wnto my ſoule, bhere is thy ... O holie kinge Dauid, if this be the cauſe of thy lamentation, now maiſt thou ceaſe from ſinginge this ſonge: for here thy God is now preſent, and and here is thy Sauiour, whom thou maiſt now enioye. Chaunge this ſonge therefore, and ſinge that other ſonge which thou did- deſt ſinge longe before in spirit. Thou haft bleſſed thy land (6 Lord, ) thou haft delivered Jacob out of captiuitie. Thou haft pardoned the iniquitie of thy people , and haft diſſembled the multitude of theire ſinnes. And thou holie Iere- mie that waſt ſtoned to death for the ſame Lord, ſhut vp now thy booke of lamenta- tions, which thou diddeſt wryte, when thou beheldeſt the deſtruction of Jeruſalem, and the ruin of the temple of God. For even within theſe three days, thou ſhalt ſee an o- ther temple builded vp,farre more º tilan ondaiemorninge. 131 than that was, and thou ſhalt ſee an other more goodlie Jeruſalem, renewed through out the world.
Now when thoſe bleſſed fathers saw their darkness changed to a goodlie bright light: old fa- when they saw the time of their banniſhemét thers, in . expired, and their glory now begonne, what ſº tonge is able to express the passing inwarde ...i. ioye that they felt: O how glad were they to of our Sa- ſee themſelues now delivered out of the ca-uiour thi- ptiuitie of Egipt, and their enemies drowned i. º de- in the redde Sea; Howhartelic did they ſinge ... altogether, and ſaie: Let vs finge vnto our Lor- Fºdia. - de, fºr he hath gloriouſle triumphed. He hath Exod 15. ouerthroben both the horſe, and the horſemen into the ſea. With what inwarde affection (trowe ye)did the first father of all mankind proſtra- te himself before the feet of his son,and Savior, and say unto him. Thou art now co- me my dearly beloved Lord, whom I have so long time looked for to redeem my sin. Thou art come to fulfill thy promise, and haſt not forgotten them that did put their truſt in thee. The difficulty of the way thou haſt overcome with thy great pity and mercy: and with thy paſ- ſinge great love thou hast overcome also the painful travails, and torments of the Cross.
No tongue is able to express the great joy of these holy fathers. But the joy that our Savior had to see such a multitude of souls redeemed by the merits of his passion was far greater without all comparison. O sweet Lord, how well wouldst thou then accompt the great labors, and pains of thy cross employed, when thou ſaveſt what goodly fru- te, that moſt bleſſed and ſacred tree began- ne toyeilde. The Patriark Joseph when he had two sons born unto him in the land of Egypt, made none accompte of all his pains, and traueils past: and in ſignification thereof, he called the firſt ſonne that was borne in that country Manaſſes, sayeing: God hath caused me to forget all my tra- ueilles, and the howſe alſo of my father.If Ho- ſeph reioyced ſo much at the birth of one son: What might our Sauiour now think, when he saw him self beſet on every side, with such a number of sons, after the end of his torments, and Martyrdom upon the cross: What might that pretious oliue think, when it save rownde abowte her ſo many, and ſuch goodly braunches ſhootin- ge out on euerieſyde:
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