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Thursday, April 12, 2007
Thursday in the Octave of Easter

"Blessed are those who have not seen but believed" (John 20:29)


Family Prayer for Easter Octave
Regina Coeli

Scripture Readings for Today (1962 Propers of the Mass):

LESSON Acts 8:26-40.

In those days, an angel of the Lord spoke to Philip, saying: "Arise, go towards the south, to the way that goeth down from Jerusalem into Gaza": this is desert. And rising up, he went. And behold, a man of Ethiopia, an eunuch, of great authority under Candace the queen of the Ethiopians, who had charge over all her treasures, had come to Jerusalem to adore. And he was returning, sitting in his chariot and reading Isaias the prophet. And the Spirit said to Philip: "Go near and join thyself to this chariot." And Philip running thither, heard him reading the prophet Isaias. And he said: "Thinkest thou that thou understandest what thou readest?" Who said: "And how can I, unless some man shew me?" And he desired Philip that he would come up and sit with him.

And the place of the scripture which he was reading was this: "He was led as a sheep to the slaughter: and like a lamb without voice before his shearer, so openeth he not his mouth. In humility his judgment was taken away. His generation who shall declare, for his life shall be taken from the earth?" And the eunuch answering Philip, said: "I beseech thee, of whom doth the prophet speak this? Of himself, or of some other man?" Then Philip, opening his mouth and beginning at this scripture, preached unto him Jesus.

And as they went on their way, they came to a certain water. And the eunuch said: "See, here is water: What doth hinder me from being baptized?" And Philip said: "If thou believest with all thy heart, thou mayest." And he answering, said: "I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God."
And he commanded the chariot to stand still. And they went down into the water, both Philip and the eunuch. And he baptized him. And when they were come up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord took away Philip: and the eunuch saw him no more. And he went on his way rejoicing. But Philip was found in Azotus: and passing through, he preached the gospel to all the cities, till he came to Caesarea, the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.

GRADUAL Ps. 117:24, 22-23
This is the day the Lord has made; let us be glad and rejoice in it.
V. The stone which the builders rejected has become the cornerstone. This is the work of the Lord, and is wonderful in our eyes.

Alleluia, alleluia!
V. Christ, who created all things and who has had compassion upon the human race, is risen.

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.
Amen. Alleluia.

GOSPEL John 20:11-18.

At that time, Mary stood at the sepulchre without, weeping. Now as she was weeping, she stooped down and looked into the sepulchre, And she saw two angels in white, sitting, one at the head, and one at the feet, where the body of Jesus had been laid. They say to her: "Woman, why weepest thou?" She saith to them: "Because they have taken away my Lord: and I know not where they have laid him."

When she had thus said, she turned herself back and saw Jesus standing: and she knew not that it was Jesus. Jesus saith to her: "Woman, why weepest thou? Whom seekest thou?" She, thinking that it was the gardener, saith to him: "Sir, if thou hast taken him hence, tell me where thou hast laid him: and I will take him away." Jesus saith to her: "Mary." She turning, saith to him: "Rabboni" (which is to say, Master). Jesus saith to her: "Do not touch me: for I am not yet ascended to my Father. But go to my brethren and say to them: I ascend to my Father and to your Father, to my God and to your God." Mary Magdalen cometh and telleth the disciples: "I have seen the Lord; and these things he said to me."


Our Easter celebrations continue as we celebrate Easter Thursday. For today's meditation, I have chosen to post sections of the Catechism of St. Pius X. The Catechism was composed in 1905 under Pope St. Pius X, and it still applies today because the Catholic Faith is changeless.

Catechism of St. Pius X:

1 Q: What are we taught in the Fifth Article: He descended into hell; the third day He rose again from the dead?
A: The Fifth Article of the Creed teaches us that the Soul of Jesus Christ, on being separated from His Body, descended to the Limbo of the holy Fathers, and that on the third day it became united once more to His Body, never to be parted from it again.

2 Q: What is here meant by hell?

A: Hell here means the Limbo of the holy Fathers, that is, the place where the souls of the just were detained, in expectation of redemption through Jesus Christ.

3 Q: Why were not the souls of the Holy Fathers admitted into heaven before the death of Jesus Christ?
A: The souls of the holy Fathers were not admitted into heaven before the death of Jesus Christ, because heaven was closed by the sin of Adam, and it was but fitting that Jesus Christ, who reopened it by His death, should be the first to enter it.

4 Q: Why did Jesus Christ defer His own resurrection until the third day?
A: Jesus Christ deferred His own resurrection until the third day to show clearly that He was really dead.

5 Q: Was the resurrection of Jesus Christ like the resurrection of other men who had been raised from the dead?
A: No, the resurrection of Jesus Christ was not like the resurrection of other men who had been raised from the dead, because He rose by His own power, while the others were raised by the power of God.


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