Monday, May 01, 2006

JUBILATE DEO

“Shout with joy to God, all the earth, alleluia: sing ye a psalm to His Name, alleluia, give glory to His praise, alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!” In the Introit of today’s Holy Mass, the Church continues to bask in the glory and joy of the Resurrection.
Acknowledging that we are a Church of repentant sinners, we pray in the Collect: “O God, Who to those who go doth astray show the light of Thy truth, that they may return to the path of justice: grant that all who are enrolled in the Christian Faith may spurn all that is hostile to your Name and follow only that which is fitting to it.” Filled with Easter joy, we must pray also for those who have not repented from their sins.
Lest we become presumptuous, Saint Peter reminds us in the Epistle to be faithful to our Baptismal Promises: “Refrain from carnal desires which war against the soul.” The first Pope teaches us that in this world we are, “strangers and pilgrims.” In other words, like Our Divine Savior, our kingdom is not of this world. Two thousand years later, the Second Vatican Council repeats the same exhortation, reminding Christ faithful that we are in the world, “but not of the world.”
During these Easter liturgies, three symbols recur to remind us that we are not from here. Rather, we are, as Saint Paul said, “citizens of heaven.” The symbols are light, water and canticle.
1) Light! On Holy Saturday Night, the deacon carries the Easter Candle, lit from the Easter fire, into a darkened Church. “Lumen Christi,” is sung three times. Christ is the Light. Jesus Christ alone is the Light of the World. Every time we look upon the Easter Candle, we see the Light of Christ shinning to separate the darkness of sin from the Lumen Christi.
2) Water! The Waters of baptism! We have been born again and washed clean in the waters of baptism. Like Christ Crucified on the Cross of Calvary, we have died. Through Him, we have died to sin. By the waters of baptism, which flow from the side of Christ, we are re-born to a life of virtue. After the homily of the Easter Mass, we re-new our Baptismal Promises. We repeat our rejection of: “Sin, Satan and all his empty promises.”
3) Canticle! Again and again during the Easter Liturgies, the Church prays the 95th Psalm: “Cantate Domino, canticum novum - - - Sing a new song to the Lord. Sing out to the Lord all the earth.” What is this new song that we sing out? Is it a new hymn that the Church or some great composer has given us? No! Rather, as Saint Augustine tells us, it is the new life that now we must live in Christ Jesus. Having seen the light, we have proclaimed the Lumen Christi. Then we have been washed clean in the waters of Baptism. Each day of our new lives we sing out: “Cantate Domino, canticum novum - - - sing a new song to the Lord. Sing out to the Lord all the earth.”
On Christmas, we sing with the Heavenly Host, “Joy to the World,’ because Christ is born. On Easter Sunday, we sing joy to the Lord. He offered Himself up to the Father on the Cross of Calvary. But, He has risen as He said He would. Resurrexit sicut dixit! Jubilato Deo! Jubilato!

Father Richard J. Rego, S.T.L.

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