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From Dom Guéranger's The Liturgical Year.

℣. In resurrectione tua, Christe, alleluia.
℟. Cœli et terra laetentur, alleluia.

℣. In thy resurrection, O Christ, alleluia.
℟. Let heaven and earth rejoice, alleluia.


LET us to-day turn to another subject. Let us think of that unfortunate Jerusalem, which, a few days since, re-echoed with the blasphemous cry: Away with him! Away with him! Crucify him! Is the city impressed by the great events that have taken place in her midst? Is the report still afloat of the sepulchre’s being found empty? Have Jesus’ enemies succeeded in tranquillizing the public mind by their lying scheme? They have summoned the soldiers who were set to guard the tomb, and have bribed them to say that they neglected their duty, that they fell asleep, and that the disciples came in the meanwhile, and stole away their Master’s corpse. As to the punishment due to this infraction of military discipline, the soldiers are told that they need be under no apprehension, inasmuch as they are assured that every excuse shall be made to the governor in case of need.[1]

Such is the final effort made by the Synagogue to make the world forget the name of Jesus of Nazareth! She would convince men that he was a mere contemptible impostor, who deserved his ignominious death, and will now be execrated for the posthumous attempt at a Resurrection! And yet, in a few years hence, the name of Jesus will be known and loved far beyond the walls of Jerusalem or the territory of Judea—it will be held in blessing in the furthermost parts of the earth. Let a hundred years pass, and the adorers of this Jesus will be found in every country. After three centuries paganism will own itself beaten; the idols will roll in the dust; the majesty of the Cæsars will humble itself before the Cross. And thou, O blind and obstinate Jew! wilt have it that he whom thou didst blaspheme and crucify is not risen, although he be now the King of the earth—the loved Monarch of a boundless empire! Read thy heaven-given prophecies, which thou hast handed down to us. Do they not tell thee that the Messias is to be despised—reputed with the wicked,[2] and treated as one of them? But do they not likewise tell thee that his sepulchre shall he glorious?[3] With all other men the grave puts an end to their name and their glory; whereas with Jesus his sepulchre is the trophy of his victory; we proclaim him to be the Messias, the King of ages, the Son of God, because by his own death he conquered death.

But Jerusalem is carnal-minded; and the humble Nazarene has not flattered her pride. His miracles were undeniable; the wisdom and authority of his words surpassed everything that had ever been heard; his goodness and compassion even exceed the miseries he is come to allay—but Israel has seen nothing, heard nothing, understood nothing; and now he remembers nothing. Alas! his fate is sealed, and it is himself that has sealed it. Five centuries before this, Daniel had thus prophesied: The people that shall deny him (Christ) shall not he his.[4] Let them, therefore, that would escape the most terrible chastisement ever sent upon man, lose no time in recognizing the risen Jesus as the Messias.

A heavy atmosphere broods over the deicide city. Her people have said: Let his Blood he upon us and upon our children!—so indeed it is: it hangs like a storm-cloud of vengeance over Jerusalem, and, forty years hence, will send forth its thunderbolts of slaughter, fire, destruction, and a desolation which shall continue even to the end.[5] Impostors will rise up, giving themselves out as the Messias. Jerusalem knows that the time for the fulfilment of the prophecies is come; and hence the credulity of her people in siding with these pretenders. Seditions are the consequence of this fanaticism. At length Rome is obliged to interfere. She sends her legions; and having drowned the rebellion with a deluge of blood, she banishes Israel from his country, making him a Cain-like wanderer on the face of the earth.

Why do not these unhappy Jews acknowledge, as the Messias, this Jesus whom they have crucified? Why still expect a fulfilment which has been so evidently accomplished? Why pass by, with sullen unrepentance, this empty sepulchre which is ever protesting against them? Have they not clamoured for the shedding of innocent Blood? They have but to confess this crime—this fruit of their pride—and they will be pardoned. But if they persist in defending what they have done, there is no hope for them—their chastisement will be blindness of heart, they will walk on in darkness even to the abyss, and hell will be their eternity. Bethphage and Mount Olivet are still echoing with the cry of Hosanna to the Son of David! O Israel! thou hast yet time! repeat this acclamation of thy loyalty! The hours are passing swiftly by; the solemnity of Pentecost will soon be upon us. On that day the law of the Son of David is to be promulgated, and the law of Moses will be abrogated, for its work is done and its figures are turned into realities. On that day thou wilt feel two peoples within thy womb[6] one, weak in number, but destined to conquer all nations by leading them to the true God, will humbly and lovingly acknowledge for their King this Crucified and Risen Son of David; the other, proud and haughty, will obstinately blaspheme its Messias, and will become, by its ingratitude, the type of voluntary hardness of heart. It denies, even to this day, the Resurrection of its victim; but the chastisement which is to lie upon it to the end of time proves that he who punishes is God—the God of truth, whose anathemas are infallible.

Let us honour the Resurrection of our divine Messias by offering him this Easter sequence of the ancient Missal of St Gall.

Sequence

Magnificet confessio
Atque pulchritudo

Magni regis novam
In cruce victoriam,

In qua triumphatus
Est mortis principatus,

Qua evacuatum
Est peccati veteris
Chirographum,

Qua paschalis Agni
Immolatur victima
Pro ovili,

Qua torcular calcat
De Edom qui venerat,
Et de Bosra.

Cujus antidotum
Serpentini vulneris
Sanat morsum.

Per crucem Deo
Reconciliatur mundus:
Per lignum nunc redemptus,
Per lignum in Adam venditus.

Per crucem astris
Sociatur matutinis,
Factura novissima,
Restaurans cœli dispendia.

Crux vitæ lignum,
Vitam mundi portans
Atque pretium,
Tu vectis es botri
Nati in vineis
Engaddi.

Christus pax nostra
Inimicitias solvens
Iis qui erant prope
Dans pacem,
Et his qui a longe.

O virtus crucis,
Mundum attrahis,
Amplexando tuis
Hinc inde brachiis.

O excelsa crux,
Ima perforans,
Vinctos, quos absolvis,
Ad summa erigis.

Christus carnis templum
Hac dierum summa constructum,
Quam tetragrammaton
Adam græce colligit,
In te dissolvendum obtulit
Sed, ut mundum
Salvet quadrifidum,
Reaedificat post triduum.

Agne Patris summi,
Cruce tollens crimina mundi,
Da, ut in augmento
Charitatis, fidei, spei,
Crucis sacrosanctae valeamus,
Cum sanctis omnibus,
Dimensiones comprehendere,

Et proximis condolentes,
Carnem macerantes,
Crucis almae bajulos
Tua trahas post vestigia.

Quo hic tuti et indemnes,
Ibi ad tribunal, judex, tuum
Simus sanctae
Crucis per signaculum,

Annuntiantes in gentibus,
Quia regnavit a ligno Deus.

Amen.
Let our most beautiful
praise magnify

The new victory of the great King
on the Cross.

On the Cross was conquered
the empire of death;

On the Cross was made void
the handwriting
of the sin that was of old;

On the Cross was sacrificed
the Paschal Lamb
for the flock;

On the Cross was the winepress trodden
by him that came from Edom
and Bosra.

It is the antidote
that cures the sting
of the serpent’s wound.

By the Cross is the world
brought back into God's favour;
it was, in Adam, sold by a tree,
and by a tree is now redeemed.

By the Cross,
the last made of creatures
is associated with the morning stars,
and repairs heaven’s losses.

O Cross! thou Tree of Life,
that bearest the Life
and Ransom of the world
—thou art the staff,
bearing upon thee the cluster of grapes
from the vineyards of Engaddi.

Christ is our peace,
who taketh enmities away,
and giveth peace
to them that are afar off,
and to them that are nigh.

O mighty Cross!
thou drawest the whole world
to thyself, and, with thy two arms,
embracest all mankind.

O lofty Cross!
thou penetratest into the depths below,
and raisest to heaven
the captives thou loosest.

On thee, Christ offered the Temple of his Flesh
—which had been built in the number of days
expressed by the four Greek letters composing Adam’s name
—he offered it that it might be destroyed;
but he raised it up again
in three days,
that he might save
the four quarters of the world.

O Lamb of the Sovereign Father!
that by the Cross takest away the sins of the world!
grant, that by our growth
in faith, hope, and charity,
we may be able to comprehend,
with all the Saints,
the measure of the Holy Cross;

That having compassion on our neighbours,
and mortifying our flesh,
we may carry the dear Cross,
and be drawn by thee to walk in thy footsteps.

Thus safe and protected in this life,
grant, O divine Judge,
that, by the sign of the holy Cross,
we may be so, when standing before thy tribunal,

And may proclaim aloud to all nations,
‘That the Lord hath reigned from the Wood.’

Amen.

[1] St Matt. xxviii 12-14.
[2] Isa. liii 12.
[3] Ibid. xi 10.
[4] Dan. ix 26.
[5] Ibid. ix 27.
[6] Gen. xxv 23.