Today’s ✠Challoner Meditation: April 19th Easter Tuesday

Archbishop Jerome Lloyd OSJVPosted by

EASTER TUESDAY

ON OUR LORD’S SHOWING HIMSELF TO HIS DISCIPLES AFTER HIS RESURRECTION

Consider first, the haste that our Lord made to comfort his blessed mother and his afflicted disciples by manifesting himself to them immediately after his resurrection. As to his blessed mother, though the gospel is silent, we cannot doubt but she was favoured with an early visit; that as she loved him most, and partook more than any other in the sorrows of his passion, so she might also in the joy of his resurrection. Learn, my soul, from hence that the way for thee also to experience something of the visits and comforts of heaven is to suffer and to love. The good women that went early in the morning to the monument with their sweet spices and ointments, to perfume the body of our Lord, were likewise favoured first with a vision of angels, and then with a sight of Christ himself, to teach us that the true way to find Christ is to rise early to seek him; to go in quest of him with the aromatical perfumes of ardent desires and devout affections; and to persevere in the search without being discouraged with apprehensions of difficulties and oppositions. These holy women are concerned who should roll away the stone for them from the monument, that they might come at the body of our Lord, for it was exceeding great; but lo, when they came to the place they found the stone was rolled away to their hands: to teach us that if we continue constant in our good resolutions, God will remove those difficulties we apprehend, or enable us by his grace to overcome them.

Consider 2ndly, the favour our Lord was pleased to show to penitent sinners at his resurrection, by honouring Magdalene amongst women, and Peter amongst men, with his first visits. Magdalene, from the time of her conversion, had constantly adhered to the Lord; she followed him even to the cross; she attended on him there till he gave up the ghost; she saw his body laid in the monument, and after the repose of the Sabbath day, she was up before light, and was the first at the monument with her perfumes. When she found him not, she ran to the apostles to tell them the body was taken away. Peter and John ran to the monument, and finding there the linen cloths without the body, went their way home again: but Magdalene stayed and continued her search, weeping and lamenting that she could not find him whom her soul loved, – till at length she saw his heavenly messenger, and shortly after himself in person, and was sent by him as an apostle to carry themselves the joyful tidings of his resurrection. O happy tears of love! O happy perseverance! O see, my soul, thou seek thy Lord in the like manner, and thou wilt infallibly find him.

Consider 3rdly, that Peter, who from the time of his fall had been continually weeping and bitterly bewailing his sins, was the first of the apostles that was favoured with the sight of our Lord, 1 Cor. xv. 5, and Luke xxiv. 34. At the first news brought by Magdalene of our Saviour’s body being missing, he took the alarm and ran to the monument, and not finding the body there went home, believing it had been taken away. But our Lord was pleased to remove this error by manifesting himself to him, and showing him that body alive which he sought among the dead. O what sentiments of confusion and repentance for his having denied the Lord of glory, mixed with a holy joy at the sight of his being now risen from the dead, filled the soul of the apostle upon this occasion! O how did he cast himself at the feet of his Lord, and there confess his crime, and how lovingly was he received to mercy, and favoured upon the spot with a plenary indulgence and absolution! And not only that, but to show the unspeakable bounty of our Lord to repenting sinners, a little while after, when our Lord manifested himself to him again, John xxi., he was pleased to advance him to the supreme pastoral charge over all his flock, by committing to him all his lambs and all his sheep, and to promise him the glory of following him, even to the dying upon a cross, for him: all in consequence of that most ardent love of which he three times required a profession of him, ‘Lovest thou me more than these?’ as it were in opposition to his three denials.

Conclude, whatever thy case may be, and however thou mayest have denied thy Saviour by word or deed, to return now to him by repentance and love, and ‘if thy sins be as red as scarlet, they shall be made as white as snow,’ Isaias i. 18. Love is the shortest way to the remission of sins, and to all other good.

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