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Arch Bishop Micheal Ralph Vendegna S.O.S.M.A.

Spiritual Reading

  • Wednesday 7 April 2021

    Easter Wednesday 

    Spiritual Reading

    Your Second Reading from the Office of Readings:

    Easter Wednesday

    From an Easter homily by an ancient author
    Christ the source of resurrection and life

    Saint Paul rejoices in the knowledge that spiritual health has been restored to the human race. Just as death entered the world through Adam, so life has been given back to the world through Christ. And again: The first man, being from the earth, is earthly by nature; the second man is from heaven and is heavenly.
    He adds the following: As we have borne the image of the earthly man, (that is, the image of human nature grown old in sin) so let us bear the image of the heavenly man: that is, human nature raised up, redeemed, restored and purified in Christ. We must hold fast to the salvation we have received. As the Apostle himself says: Christ is the beginning (that is, the source of resurrection and life); therefore those who belong to Christ (those who model their lives on his purity) will be secure in the hope of his resurrection and of enjoying with him the glory promised in heaven. As our Lord himself said in the gospel: Whoever follows me will not perish, but will pass from death to life.
    Thus the passion of our Saviour is the salvation of mankind. The reason why he desired to die for us was that he wanted us who believe in him to live for ever. In the fullness of time it was his will to become what we are, so that we might inherit the eternity he promised and live with him for ever.
    Here, then, is the grace conferred by these heavenly mysteries, the gift which Easter brings, the most longed-for feast of the year; here are the beginnings of creatures newly formed: children born from the life-giving font of holy Church, born anew with the simplicity of little ones, and crying out with the evidence of a clean conscience. Chaste fathers and inviolate mothers accompany this new family, countless in number, born to new life through faith. As they emerge from the grace-giving womb of the font, a blaze of candles burns brightly beneath the tree of faith. The Easter festival brings the grace of holiness from heaven to men. Through the repeated celebration of the sacred mysteries they receive the spiritual nourishment of the sacraments. Fostered at the very heart of holy Church, the fellowship of one community worships the one God, adoring the triple name of his essential holiness, and together with the prophet sings the psalm which belongs to this yearly festival: This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad. And what is this day? It is the Lord Jesus Christ himself, the author of light, who brings the sunrise and the beginning of life, saying of himself: I am the light of day; whoever walks in daylight does not stumble. That is to say, whoever follows Christ in all things will come by this path to the throne of eternal light.
    Such was the prayer Christ made to the Father while he was still on earth: Father, I desire that where I am they also may be, those who have come to believe in me; and that as you are in me and I in you, so they may abide in us.


    On this date in other years:

    Saint John Baptist de la Salle, Priest

    The portrait by Pierre Léger (1658-1763) at the La Salle museum in Rome.

    A meditation of St John Baptist de la Salle
    Let the love of God drive you on

    Turn over in your mind what the words of the apostle Paul say, that God appointed in the Church, apostles, prophets and teachers; and you will be persuaded that he has placed you in your work as well. The same saint gives you proof of this when he says that there are varieties of service, and varieties of working, but that it is the same Holy Spirit manifested in each of these gifts for the common good, that is, the good of the Church.
    You should be in no doubt that the grace which has been given you to teach children, to announce the gospel to them, and instil in them the spirit of religion, is a great gift of God, who has called you to this holy service.
    In everything you do as teachers, let the children who are entrusted to your care see you as the servants of God as you go about your work with genuine love and real diligence. What commits you even more to your work is that you are not only ministers of God, but also of Jesus Christ and of the Church.
    This is what Saint Paul says, urging that all who proclaim the gospel should be thought of as servants of Christ. So too should all those who write the letter dictated by Christ and written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not on tablets of stone, but on the tablets of human hearts, which are the hearts of the children.
    Because of this, let the love of God drive you on. Jesus Christ died for all men, so that even those who live, live not for themselves, but for him who died for them and rose again. So, let your pupils be moved by your hardworking perseverance, and let them feel as though God were exhorting them through you, since you are ambassadors for Christ.
    Moreover, you should show the Church your fervent love for her, and give her proof of it by your spirit of hard work. For it is through the Church, which is the body of Christ, that you are working. Show by your zeal that you love those whom God has handed over to you, just as Christ loved the Church.
    Make sure that the children are really built into the structure of this house of God, and make such progress as to be able, one day, to stand glorious, without spot or blemish or any such thing, before the judgement seat of Jesus Christ. Work so that the riches of God’s grace which he has given them may be made manifest to succeeding generations. He extends his help in his teaching, and to you when you teach and educate them, so that they may receive their inheritance in the kingdom of God and of Jesus Christ our Lord.

    Copyright © 1996-2021 Universalis Publishing Limited: see www.universalis.com. Scripture readings from the Jerusalem Bible are published and copyright © 1966, 1967 and 1968 by Darton, Longman & Todd, Ltd and Doubleday, a division of Random House, Inc, and used by permission of the publishers. Text of the Psalms: Copyright © 1963, The Grail (England). Used with permission of A.P. Watt Ltd. All rights reserved.