Family Prayer for Easter Octave
Scripture Readings for Today (1962 Propers of the Mass):
EPISTLE I Peter 3:18-22.
Beloved, Because Christ also died once for our sins, the just for the unjust: that he might offer us to God, being put to death indeed in the flesh, but enlivened in the spirit, In which also coming he preached to those spirits that were in prison: Which had been some time incredulous, when they waited for the patience of God in the days of Noe, when the ark was a building: wherein a few, that is, eight souls, were saved by water. Whereunto baptism, being of the like form, now saveth you also: not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but, the examination of a good conscience towards God by the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Who is on the right hand of God, swallowing down death that we might be made heirs of life everlasting: being gone into heaven, the angels and powers and virtues being made subject to him.
GRADUAL Ps. 117:24, 26-27
This is the day the Lord has made; let us be glad and rejoice in it.
V. Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord; the Lord is God and He has given us light.
V. Ps. 95:10. Announce among the nations, that the Lord reigns upon a cross.
May you praise the Paschal Victim,
immolated for Christians.
The Lamb redeemed the sheep:
Christ, the innocent one,
has reconciled sinners to the Father.
A wonderful duel to behold,
as death and life struggle:
The Prince of life dead,
now reigns alive.
Tell us, Mary Magdalen,
what did you see in the way?
"I saw the sepulchre of the living Christ,
and I saw the glory of the Resurrected one:
The Angelic witnesses,
the winding cloth, and His garments.
The risen Christ is my hope:
He will go before His own into Galilee."
We know Christ to have risen
truly from the dead:
And thou, victorious King,
have mercy on us.
GOSPEL Matt. 28:16-20.
At that time, the eleven disciples went into Galilee, unto the mountain where Jesus had appointed them. And seeing him they adored: but some doubted. And Jesus coming, spoke to them, saying: "All power is given to me in heaven and in earth. Going therefore, teach ye all nations: baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost. Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you. And behold I am with you all days, even to the consummation of the world."
I hope my readers have enjoyed this series of meditations and readings for each day in the Octave of Easter. As we arrive on Easter Friday, I want today's meditation to be directly from the words of Pope John XXIII:
"Easter reminds us of these fundamental requirements of the Christian life: the practice of piety and the exercise of patience. Through piety we live detached from human frailties, in purity of mind and body, in close union with Christ. Through patience we succeed in strengthening our character and controlling our temper so as to become not only more pleasing to the Lord for our own sake, but an example and encouragement to others, to our fellow men, in the various contingencies of social life.
"The Resurrection of the Lord truly represents—and for this reason it is celebrated every year—the renewed resurrection of every one of us to the true Christian life, the perfect Christian life which we must all try to live. "The Resurrection of Christ is the sacrament of new life".
"My beloved brothers and children! First of all let us look closely at our pattern, Jesus Christ. You see that everything in his life was in preparation for his resurrection. As St Augustine says: "In Christ everything was working for his resurrection".
"Born as a man, he appeared as a man for but a short time. Born of mortal flesh, he experienced all the vicissitudes of mortality. We see him in his infancy, his boyhood, and his vigorous maturity, in which he died. He could not have risen again if he had not died; he could not have died if he had not been born; he was born and he died so that he might rise again.
"This is what St Augustine tells us in simple, sublime words."
Excerpted from Prayers and Devotions from Pope John XXIII, edited by John P. Donnelly © 1967, 1966.