Sunday, April 12, 2009

Christus Resurrexit! Vere Resurrexit! Alleluia, Alleluia!

"'This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it' (Ps 117[118],24). It is not by chance, brethren, that today we read the Psalm in which the prophet invites us to rejoice and be glad and in which holy David invites all creation to celebrate this day. For today Christ's resurrection has opened the resting-place of the dead; the Church's newly baptised members have rejuvenated the earth; the Holy Spirit has shown us heaven. Hell, now opened, gives up its dead; its youth renewed, the earth buds forth those who are risen; and heaven opens wide to welcome those who mount up towards it.

The thief has gone up to paradise (Lk 23,43); the bodies of the saints enter the holy city (Mt 27,53)... At the resurrection of Christ all the elements, moved by a kind of momentum, are raised towards the heights. Hell hands over to the angels all those whom it was holding captive; heaven presents to the Lord all those it has received... Christ's resurrection is life for the dead, pardon for sinners, glory for the saints. Thus great David calls all creation to celebrate Christ's resurrection and encourages it to leap for joy and gladness in this day the Lord has made.

Yet you will ask..., heaven and hell have not been set within the daylight of this world's, so can we expect these elements to celebrate a day that completely misses them? But the day the Lord has made penetrates all things, contains all things and encompasses at one and the same time heaven, earth and hell! Christ's light is not blocked by walls nor broken by the elements nor darkened by shadows. The light of Christ is truly a day without night, a day without end. It shines forth everywhere, radiates everywhere, remains everywhere."

-Saint Maximus of Turin, Sermon 53 on Psalm 117

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