First Sunday after Easter [Low, or Quasimodo, Sunday]
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INSTRUCTION ON THE FIRST SUNDAY AFTER EASTER, called DOMINICA IN ALBIS.
Taken from Fr. Leonard Goffine's Explanations of the Epistles and Gospels for the Sundays, Holydays, and Festivals throughout the Ecclesiastical Year, 36th edition, 1880

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Why is this Sunday called Dominica in Albis or White Sunday?

BECAUSE on this day the neophytes laid aside the white dress which, as emblem of their innocence, they received on Holy Saturday, and put on their necks an Agnus Dei, made of white wax, and blessed by the pope, to remind them always of the innocence for which they were given, and of the meekness of the Lamb Jesus.

For which reason the Church sings at the lntroit: As new-born babes, alleluia: desire the rational milk without guile. Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia, (i Pet. ii. 2.) Rejoice to God our helper: sing aloud to the God of Jacob. (Ps. lxxx.) Glory, &c.

PRAYER OF THE CHURCH. Grant, we beseech Thee, Almighty God, that we, who have completed the paschal solemnities may, through Thy merciful bounty, ever retain them in our life and conversation. Through.

EPISTLE. (i John v. 4 — 10.) Dearly beloved, Whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world; and this is the victory which overcometh the world, our faith. Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God? This is he that came by water and blood, Jesus Christ: not by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the spirit which testifieth that Christ is the truth. And there are three who give testimony in heaven: the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost, and these three are one. And there are three that give testimony on earth: the spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three are one. If we receive the testimony of men, the testimony of God is greater: for this is the testimony of God, which is greater, because he hath testified of his Son. He that believeth in the Son of God, hath the testimony of God in himself.

Quote:INSTRUCTION. As in his gospel, so in his epistles, and especially in this, St. John proves the divinity of Christ which had been denied by some heretics. He says that Christ had come to purify all men from sin by water and blood, that is, by His blood shed on the cross for our reconciliation, and by the water of baptism to which He has given the power, the divine effect of His blood, and has thus proved Himself the divine Redeemer. This His divine dignity is attested by the Holy Ghost who lived in Christ and worked through Him with His fulness, and when sent by Him after our Lord's Ascension, produced most wonderful effect in the apostles and the faithful. As now on earth three, the Spirit, water, and blood, give testimony of Christ's divinity and agree in it, so also in heaven three, the Father, who calls Him His beloved Son, (Matt. iii. 17.) the Word, or the Son Himself, who wrought so many miracles, the Holy Ghost, when He descended upon Him at the baptism in the Jordan, (Luke iii. 22.) give testimony of His divinity, and these also agree with one another in their testimony. If Christ is truly God, then we must believe in Him, and this faith must be a living one, that is, it must prove fertile in good works, and this faith conquers the world by teaching us to love God above all, to despise the world with its pleasures, and to overcome it by indifference. Let us strive to have such faith, and we shall overcome all temptations and gain the eternal crown.

ASPIRATION. O Lord Jesus! strengthen me by a lively faith in Thy divinity, so that I may not succumb in the spiritual combat against the world, the flesh, and the devil, and be eternally lost.

GOSPEL. (John xx. 19 — 31.) At that time, When it was late that same day, the first of the week, and the doors were shut, where the disciples were gathered together, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came, and stood in the midst, and said to them: Peace be to you. And when he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side. The disciples therefore were glad, when they saw the Lord. He said therefore to them again: Peace be to you. As the Father hath sent me, I also send you. When he had said this, he breathed on them; and he said to them: Receive ye the Holy Ghost; whose sins you shall forgive, they are forgiven them: and whose sins you shall retain, they are retained. Now Thomas, one of the twelve, who is called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came. The other disciples therefore said to him: We have seen the Lord. But he said to them: Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the place of the nails, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe. And after eight days, again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them. Jesus cometh, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said: Peace be to you. Then he said to Thomas: Put in thy finger hither, and see my hands, and bring hither thy hand, and put it into my side; and be not faithless, but believing. Thomas answered and said to him: My Lord and my God. Jesus saith to him: Because thou hast seen me, Thomas, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and have believed. Many other signs also did Jesus in the sight of his disciples, which are not written in this book. But these are written, that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that, believing, you may have life in his name.


Why does Christ so often wish peace to the apostles?

To show that He only, by His death and resurrection, has made peace between God and man, and that His fol- lowers should be known by their harmony. (Joint xiii. 35.) There is a threefold peace: peace with God, by avoiding sin; peace with ourselves, that is, a good conscience; peace with our neighbor by the exercise of charity. This threefold peace is necessary for our salvation.


Why did Jesus breathe upon the apostles when giving them the power to forgive sin?

To show that, as bodily life was once given to Adam by the breath of God, so should the spiritual life, be given henceforth by the apostles and their successors through the Holy Ghost in the Sacrament of Penance, to the children of Adam who were spiritually dead.


Why did God permit Thomas to doubt the Resurrection of Christ?

That Thomas as well as we, says St. Gregory, should be strengthened in humble belief in the Resurrection of Christ, and that all doubts should be removed.


Had Thomas true faith when with his own eyes he saw Christ?

Yes, for he saw Christ only in His humanity, and yet testified to His divinity by exclaiming: My Lord and my God!


Is it true, meritorious faith not to be ready to believe before seeing that which is to be believed?

By no means; for faith consists precisely in firmly holding as true that which is not seen. Therefore Christ calls him blessed who has not seen and yet believes.


When is faith true and meritorious?

That is true faith which firmly believes all that God has revealed, whether written or unwritten, and when one lives in accordance with that faith; for faith in Jesus simply does not save us, when that which He has commanded is not performed. (Matt. vii. 21.; James ii. 20.) That faith is meritorious which without doubting and without hesitation willingly submits the understanding to revealed truths which it cannot comprehend, and this for the love of God, who is eternal truth and cannot deceive.


Whence do we know for certain that God has revealed certain things?

From the Church of Christ which alone preserves the revealed word of God faithfully and uncorrupted, as it is contained in the Bible and in tradition ; by the Holy Ghost all truth is given to the Church, and Christ remains with her until the end of the world. (Matt, xxviii. 20.)


Has the Church of Christ any marks by which it may be known?

Christ's Church has these four marks: it is One, it is Holy, it is Catholic, and it is Apostolic.


How is the Church one?

The Church is one, because all its members agree in one faith, are all in one communion, and are all under one head. (Matt. xvi. 18.; Eph. iv. 3 — 7.)


How is the Church Holy?

The Church is Holy, in her Founder, Jesus Christ, and by teaching a holy doctrine, by inviting all to a holy life, and by the eminent holiness of so many thousands of her children.


How is the Church Catholic?

The Church is Catholic or Universal, because she subsists in all ages, teaches all nations, (Matt, xxviii. 19, 20.) and maintains all truth.


How is the Church Apostolic?

The Church is Apostolic, because she comes down by a perpetual succession from the apostles of Christ, and has her doctrine, her orders, and her mission from them.


Which is this true Church?

The Roman Catholic Church, for she alone has these marks. She is One in her head, the Pope of Rome, in her doctrine, and in her Sacraments, which is evident since she excludes all those who do not accept all her dogmas. She is Holy, for Christ her Founder is holy; and her doctrine and Sacraments lead to holiness, as shown by the multitude of her saints whose sanctity God affirms by great miracles. No sect has saints. She is Catholic or Universal, for she has been in existence always from the times of the apostles, as is clearly shown by the fact that from the times of the apostles there have always been some who separated from her and founded sects. The Catholic Church has always existed, and cannot perish or become corrupt, since Christ has promised to remain with her to the end of the world; she is also spread over the whole world, is always being announced to all nations, and is fitted for all generations and for all people. She is Apostolic, for she accepts no doctrine which does not come from the apostles, and she can prove that the ministers of the Church, the bishops, have come down in unbroken succession from the apostles.


Can those who remain outside the Catholic Church be saved?

The Council of Trent (Sess. V. in the Introduction) assigns the Catholic faith as the one without which it is impossible to please God, and the Roman Catechism teaches: (i part. art. 9.) "The Church is also called Catholic or Universal, because all who desire eternal salvation must cling to, and embrace her, like those who entered the ark, to escape perishing in the flood." According to this doctrine of the Church, which the holy Fathers affirm, only those idolaters and obstinate heretics are excluded from salvation who knowingly deny the truth, and will not enter the Church. The Catholic Church does not condemn the unbelievers, she prays for them, leaves judgment to the Lord, who alone knows the heart, and knows whether the error is culpable or not, and she calls on all her members to pray for their enlightenment.


Are we then already saved, if we belong to the true Church?

No, we must also live up to the faith which she teaches, make good use of all means of salvation, regard and honor all her regulations and commands, for otherwise the words of Christ will be verified in us: And I say to you that many shall come from the east and the west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven: but the children of the kingdom (the true Church) shall be cast out into exterior darkness. (Matt. viii. 11.)
"So let us be confident, let us not be unprepared, let us not be outflanked, let us be wise, vigilant, fighting against those who are trying to tear the faith out of our souls and morality out of our hearts, so that we may remain Catholics, remain united to the Blessed Virgin Mary, remain united to the Roman Catholic Church, remain faithful children of the Church."- Abp. Lefebvre
Reply
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Low Sunday (Quasimodo)
Taken from The Liturgical Year by Dom Prosper Gueranger (1841-1875)

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Pride: for faith has no other obstacle than this. If man were humble, he would have faith enough to move mountains.



THE OCTAVE OF THE PASCH.

Our neophytes closed the Octave of the Resurrection yesterday. They were before us in receiving the admirable mystery; their solemnity would finish earlier than ours. This, then, is the eighth clay for us who kept the Pasch on the Sunday, and did not anticipate it on the vigil. It reminds us of all the glory and joy of that Feast of Feasts, which united the whole of Christendom in one common feeling of triumph. It is the day of light, which takes the place of the Jewish Sabbath. Henceforth, the first day of the week is to be kept holy. Twice has the Son of God honoured it with the manifestation of His almighty power. The Pasch, therefore, is always to be celebrated on the Sunday; and thus, every Sunday becomes a sort of Paschal Feast, as we have already explained in the Mystery of Easter.

Our Risen Jesus gave an additional proof of His wishing the Sunday to be, henceforth, the privileged day. He reserved the second visit He intended to pay to all His disciples for this the eighth day since His Resurrection. During the previous days, He has left Thomas a prey to doubt; but, to-day He shows Himself to this Apostle, as well as to the others, and obliges Him, by irresistible evidence, to lay aside His incredulity. Thus does our Saviour again honour the Sunday. The Holy Ghost will come down from heaven upon this same day of the week, making it the commencement of the Christian Church: Pentecost will complete the glory of this favoured day.

Jesus’ apparition to the Eleven, and the victory He gains over the incredulous Thomas, — these are the special subjects the Church brings before us today. By this apparition, which is the seventh since His Resurrection, our Saviour wins the perfect faith of His disciples. It was impossible not to recognise God, in the patience, the majesty, and the charity of Him who showed Himself to them. Here again, our human thoughts are disconcerted; we should have thought this delay excessive; it would have seemed to us, that our Lord ought to have, at once, either removed the sinful doubt from Thomas’ mind, or punished him for his disbelief. But no: Jesus is infinite wisdom, and infinite goodness. In His wisdom, He makes this tardy acknowledgment of Thomas become a new argument of the truth of the Resurrection; in His goodness, He brings the heart of the incredulous disciple to repentance, humility, and love, yea, to a fervent and solemn retractation of all his disbelief. We will not here attempt to describe this admirable scene, which holy Church is about to bring before us. We will select, for our today’s instruction, the important lesson given by Jesus to His disciple, and, through him, to us all. It is the leading instruction of the Sunday, the Octave of the Pasch, and it behooves us not to pass it by, for, more than any other, it tells us the leading characteristic of a Christian, shows us the cause of our being so listless in God’s service, and points out to us the remedy for our spiritual ailments.

Jesus says to Thomas: “Because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and have believed!” Such is the great truth, spoken by the lips of the God-Man: it is a most important counsel, given, not only to Thomas, but to all who would serve God and secure their salvation. What is it that Jesus asks of His disciple ? Has He not heard him make profession that now, at last, he firmly believes? After all, was there any great fault in Thomas’ insisting on having experimental evidence before believing in so extraordinary a miracle as the Resurrection? Was he obliged to trust to the testimony of Peter and the others, under penalty of offending his divine Master? Did he not evince his prudence, by withholding his assent until he had additional proofs of the truth of what his Brethren told him? Yes, Thomas was a circumspect and prudent man, and one that was slow to believe what he had heard; he was worthy to be taken as a model by those Christians, who reason and sit in judgment upon matters of faith. And yet, listen to the reproach made him by Jesus. It is merciful, and, withal, so severe! This Jesus has so far condescended to the weakness of His disciple, as to accept the condition, on which alone he declares that he will believe: now that the disciple stands trembling before his Risen Lord, and exclaims, in the earnestness of faith: “My Lord! and my God!” oh! see how Jesus chides him! This stubbornness, this incredulity, deserves a punishment: — the punishment is, to have these words said to him: “Thomas! thou hast believed, because thou hast seen!”

Then, was Thomas obliged to believe before having seen? Yes, undoubtedly. Not only Thomas, but all the Apostles were in duty bound to believe the Resurrection of Jesus, even before He showed himself to them. Had they not lived three years with Him? Had they not seen Him prove himself to be the Messias and Son of God by the most undeniable miracles? Had He not foretold them, that He would rise again on the third day? As to the humiliations and cruelties of His Passion, had He not told them, a short time previous to it, that He was to be seized by the Jews, in Jerusalem, and be delivered to the Gentiles? that He was to be scourged, spit upon, and put to death? (Luke 18:32-33)

After all this, they ought to have believed in His triumphant Resurrection, the very first moment they heard of His Body having disappeared. As soon as John had entered the sepulchre, and seen the winding sheet, he at once ceased to doubt, he believed. But, it is seldom that man is so honest as this; he hesitates, and God must make still further advances, if He would have us give our faith! Jesus condescended even to this: He made further advances. He showed Himself to Magdalene and her companions, who were not incredulous, but only carried away by natural feeling, though the feeling was one of love for their Master. When the Apostles heard their account of what had happened, they were treated as women, whose imagination had got the better of their judgment. Jesus had to come in person: He showed Himself to these obstinate men, whose pride made them forget all that He had said and done, and which ought to have been sufficient to make them believe in His Resurrection. Yes, it was pride, for faith has no other obstacle than this. If man were humble, he would have faith enough to move mountains.

To return to our Apostle — Thomas had heard Magdalene, and he despised her testimony; he had heard Peter, and he objected to his authority; he had heard the rest of his fellow-Apostles and the two disciples of Emmaus, and no, he would not give up his own opinion. How many there are among us, who are like him in this! We never think of doubting what is told us by a truthful and disinterested witness, unless the subject touch upon the supernatural; and then, we have a hundred difficulties. It is one of the sad consequences left in us by original sin. Like Thomas, we would see the thing ourselves: that alone is enough to keep us from the fullness of the truth. We comfort ourselves with the reflection that, after all, we are Disciples of Christ; as did Thomas, who kept in union with his brother-Apostles, only he shared not their happiness. He saw their happiness, but he considered it to be a weakness of mind, and was glad that he was free from it!

How like this is to our modern rationalistic Catholic! He believes, but it is because his reason almost forces him to believe; he believes with his mind, rather than from his heart. His faith is a scientific deduction, and not a generous longing after God and supernatural truth. Hence, how cold and powerless is this faith! how cramped and ashamed! how afraid of believing too much! Unlike the generous unstinted faith of the saints, it is satisfied with fragments of truth, with what the Scripture terms diminished truths. (Psalm 11:2) It seems ashamed of itself. It speaks in a whisper, lest it should be criticised; and when it does venture to make itself heard, it adopts a phraseology, which may take off the sound of the divine. As to those miracles which it wishes had never taken place, and which it would have advised God not to work, they are a forbidden subject. The very mention of a miracle, particularly if it have happened in our own times, puts it into a state of nervousness. The lives of the saints, their heroic virtues, their sublime sacrifices — it has a repugnance to the whole thing! It talks gravely about those who are not of the true religion being unjustly dealt with by the Church in Catholic countries: it asserts that the same liberty ought to be granted to error as to truth: it has very serious doubts whether the world has been a great loser by the secularization of society.

Now, it was for the instruction of persons of this class, that our Lord spoke those words to Thomas: “Blessed are they who have not seen, and have believed.” Thomas sinned in not having the readiness of mind to believe. Like him, we also are in danger of sinning, unless our faith have a certain expansiveness, which makes us see everything with the eye of faith, and gives our faith that progress which God recompenses with a superabundance of light and joy. Yes, having once become members of the Church, it is our duty to look upon all things from a supernatural point of view. There is no danger of our going too far, for we have the teachings of an infallible authority to guide us. The just man liveth by faith. (Romans 1:17) Faith is his daily bread. His mere natural life becomes transformed for good and all, if only he be faithful to his Baptism. Could we suppose, that the Church, after all her instructions to her neophytes, and after all those sacred rites of their Baptism which are so expressive of the supernatural life, would be satisfied to see them straightway adopt that dangerous system, which drives Faith into a nook of the heart and understanding and conduct, leaving all the rest to natural principles or instinct? No, it could not be so. Let us, therefore, imitate St. Thomas in his confession, and acknowledge that, hitherto, our faith has not been perfect. Let us go to our Jesus, and say to him: “Thou art my Lord and my God! But, alas! I have many times thought and acted as though thou wert my Lord and my God in some things, and not in others. Henceforth, I will believe without seeing; for I would be of the number of them, whom thou callest blessed!”

This Sunday, commonly called with us, Low Sunday, has two names assigned to it in the Liturgy: Quasimodo, from the first word of the Introit; and Sunday in albis (or, more explicitly, in albis depositis,) because it was on this day, that the neophytes assisted at the Church services attired in their ordinary dress. In the Middle-Ages, it was called Close-Pasch, no doubt in allusion to its being the last day of the Easter Octave. Such is the solemnity of this Sunday, that not only is it of a Greater Double rite, but no Feast, however great, can ever be kept upon it.

At Rome, the Station is in the Basilica of Saint Pancratius, on the Aurelian Way. Ancient writers have not mentioned the reason of this Church being chosen for to-day’s assembly of the Faithful. It may, perhaps, have been on account of the Saint’s being only fourteen years old when put to death, a circumstance which gave the young Martyr a sort of right to have the Neophytes round him, now that they were returning to their every day life.
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MASS

The Introit repeats those beautiful words of St. Peter, which were addressed, in yesterday’s Epistle, to the newly baptized. They are like new-bom babes, lovely in their sweet simplicity, and eager to drink from the breasts of their dear Mother, the Church, the spiritual milk of faith, — that faith which will make them strong and loyal.

Introit
Quasi modo geniti infantes, alleluia: rationabiles, sine dolo lac concupiscite. Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia. 
As new born babes, alleluia: desire the national milk without guile. Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia.

Ps. Exsultate Deo adjutori nostro: jubilate Deo Jacob. 
Ps. Rejoice to God our helper: sing aloud to the God of Jacob.

℣. Gloria Patri. Quasi modo. 
℣. Glory, &c. As new-born, &c.


On this the last day of the great Octave, the Church, in her Collect, bids farewell to the glorious solemnities that have so gladdened us, and asks our Lord to grant that our lives and actions may ever reflect the holy influence of our Pasch.

Collect
Præsta, quæsumus, omnipotens Deus: ut qui paschalia festa peregimus: hæc, te largiente, moribus et vita teneamus. Per Dominum. 
Grant, we beseech thee, O almighty God, that we, who have celebrated the Paschal solemnity, may, by the assistance of thy divine grace, ever make the effects thereof manifest in our lives and actions. Through, &c.


Epistle
Lesson of the Epistle of Saint John the Apostle. I Ch. V.

Dearly beloved: Whatsoever is born of God, overcometh the world: and this is the victory which overcometh the world, our faith. Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God? This is he that came by water and blood, Jesus Christ: not by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit which testifieth, that Christ is the truth. And there are three who give testimony in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost. And these three are one. And there are three that give testimony on earth: the spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three are one. If we receive the testimony of men, the testimony of God is greater. For this is the testimony of God, which is greater, because he hath testified of his Son. He that believeth in the Son of God, hath the testimony of God in himself. He that believeth not the Son, maketh him a liar: because he believeth not in the testimony which God hath testified of his Son.

Quote:The Apostle St. John here tells us the merit and power of faith: it is, says he, a victory, which conquers the world, both the world outside, and the world within us. It is not difficult to understand why this passage from St. John’s Epistles should have been selected for to-day’s Liturgy: it is on account of its being so much in keeping with the Gospel appointed for this Sunday, and in which our Lord passes such eulogy upon faith. If, as the Apostle here assures us, they overcome the world who believe in Christ, they have not sterling faith, who allow the world to intimidate their faith. Let us be proud of our faith, esteeming ourselves happy that we are but little children when there is question of our receiving a divine truth; and let us not be ashamed of our eager readiness to admit the testimony of God. This testimony will make itself heard to our hearts, in proportion to our willingness to hear it. The moment John saw the winding-bands which had shrouded the Body of his Master, he made an act of faith; Thomas, who had stronger testimony than John, (for he had the word of the Apostles, assuring him that they had seen their Risen Lord,) refused to believe: he had not overcome the world and its reasonings, because he had not faith.

The two Alleluia-Versicles are formed of two texts alluding to the Resurrection. The second speaks of the scene which took place on this day in the cenacle.

Alleluia
Alleluia, alleluia. 
Alleluia, alleluia.

℣. In die resurrectionis meæ, dicit Dominus, præcedam vos in Galilæam. Alleluia. 
℣. On the day of my Resurrection, saith the Lord, I will go before you into Galilee. Alleluia.

℣. Post dies octo, januis clausis, stetit Jesus in medio discipulorum suorum, et dixit: Pax vobis. Alleluia. 
℣. After eight days, the doors being shut, Jesus stood in the midst of his disciples, and said: Peace be with you.


Gospel
Sequel of the holy Gospel according to John. Ch. XX.
At that time: When it was late that same day, the first of the week, and the doors were shut, where the disciples were gathered together, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in the midst, and said to them: Peace be to you. And when he had said this, he shewed them his hands and his side. The disciples therefore were glad, when they saw the Lord. He said therefore to them again: Peace be to you. As the Father hath sent me, I also send you. When he had said this, he breathed on them; and he said to them: Receive ye the Holy Ghost. Whose sins you shall forgive, they are forgiven them; and whose sins you shall retain, they are retained. Now Thomas, one of the twelve, who is called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came. The other disciples therefore said to him: We have seen the Lord. But he said to them: Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the place of the nails, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe. And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them. Jesus cometh, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said: Peace be to you. Then he saith to Thomas: Put in thy finger hither, and see my hands; and bring hither thy hand, and put it into my side; and be not faithless, but believing. Thomas answered, and said to him: My Lord, and my God. Jesus saith to him: Because thou hast seen me, Thomas, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and have believed. Many other signs also did Jesus in the sight of his disciples, which are not written in this book. But these are written, that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God: and that believing, you may have life in his name.

Quote:We have said enough about St. Thomas’ incredulity; let us now admire his faith. His fault has taught us to examine and condemn our own want of faith; let us learn from his repentance how to become true believers. Our Lord, who had chosen him as one of the pillars of His Church, has been obliged to treat him with an exceptional familiarity: Thomas avails himself of Jesus’ permission, puts his finger into the sacred wound, and immediately he sees the sinfulness of his past incredulity. He would make atonement, by a solemn act of faith, for the sin he has committed in priding himself on being wise and discreet: he cries out, and with all the fervor of faith: My Lord and my God! Observe, he not only says that Jesus is his Lord, his Master, the same who chose him as one of His disciples: this would not have been faith, for there is no faith where we can see and touch. Had Thomas believed what his brother Apostles had told him, he would have had faith in the Resurrection; but now he sees, he has experimental knowledge of the great fact; and yet, as our Lord says of him, he has faith. In what? In this, that his Master is God. he sees but the Humanity of Jesus, and he at once confesses Him to be God. From what is visible, his soul, now generous and repentant, rises to the invisible: “Thou art my God!” Now, O Thomas! thou art full of faith! The Church proposes thee to us, on thy Feast, as an example of faith. The confession thou didst make on this day is worthy to be compared with that which Peter made, when he said, “Thou art Christ, the Son of the living God!” By this profession, which neither flesh nor blood had revealed to him, Peter merited to be made the Rock whereon Christ built His Church: thine did more than compensate thy former disbelief; it gave thee, for the time, a superiority over the rest of the Apostles who, so far at least, were more taken up with the visible glory than with the invisible Divinity of their risen Lord.

The Offertory gives us another text of the Gospel, relative to the Resurrection.

Offertory
Angelus Domini descendit de cœlo, et dixit mulieribus: Quem quæritis, surrexit sicut dixit. Alleluia. 
An Angel of the Lord came down from heaven, and said to the women: He whom ye seek is risen, as he said, alleluia.


In the Secret, the Church expresses the holy enthusiasm wherewith the Paschal mystery fills her; she prays that this joy may lead her to the never-ending one of the eternal Easter.

Secret
Suscipe munera, Domine, quæsumus, exsultantis Ecclesiæ: et cui causam tanti gaudii præstitisti, perpetuæ fructum concede lætitiæ. Per Dominum. 
Receive, we beseech thee, O Lord, the offerings and thy joyful Church: and as thou hast given occasion to this great joy, grant she may receive the fruits of that joy, which will never end. Through, &c.


While giving the Bread of heaven to her neophytes and other children, the Church sings in her Communion-Antiphon, the words spoken by Jesus to Thomas. This Apostle was permitted to touch our Lord’s sacred wounds; we, by the holy Eucharist, are brought into still closer intimacy with this same Jesus: but, that we may derive the profit intended by such condescension, we must have a faith lively and generous, like that which He exacted from His Apostle.

Communion
Mitte manum tuam et cognosce loca clavorum, alleluia: et noli esse incredulus, sed fidelis. Alleluia, alleluia. 
Put forth thy hand, and mark the place of the nails, alleluia: and be not incredulous, but believe. Alleluia, alleluia.


The Church concludes the prayers of her Sacrifice by asking that the divine mystery, instituted to be a support to our weakness, may give us untiring perseverance.

Postcommunion
Quæsumus, Domine Deus noster: ut sacrosancta mysteria, quæ pro reparationis nostræ munimine contulisti, et præsens nobis remedium esse facias et futurum. Per Dominum. 
Grant, we beseech thee, O Lord our God, that the sacred mysteries thou hast given us to preserve the grace of our redemption, may be our present and future remedy. Through, &c.


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VESPERS.

When the Feast of the Annunciation is deferred till after Easter, it is kept on the Monday following Low Sunday: its First Vespers are now sung, and a commemoration only is made of the Sunday, at the end of the Office. We have given these below. Other years, the Vespers are those of Paschal Time.

ANTIPHON OF THE MAGNIFICAT

Ant. After eight days, the doors being shut, the Lord entering, said: Peace be to you. Alleluia, alleluia.

LET US PRAY.

Grant, we beseech thee, O Almighty God, that we who have celebrated the Paschal solemnity, may, by the assistance of thy divine grace, ever make the effects thereof manifest in our lives and actions. Through, etc.


As an appropriate Prayer, wherewith to close the day, we offer to our readers the following beautiful one,
wherein the Gothic Church of Spain celebrates the mystery of the eighth day — the Octave of Easter.

Son Begotten of the unbegotten Father! thou again invitest us to honor this eighth clay, on which thou didst permit thy disciples to see and touch thee. The Sunday, though made before the other days, becomes the eighth by following the seven preceding it. It was on this day that thou didst rise from the tomb and death; it was on this same thou enterest where thy disciples were assembled, and, the doors being shut, didst honor them by thine inestimable visit. Thus didst thou adorn, with a mystery well suited to each, both the beginning and the close of the Pasch; for thy Resurrection struck terror into the soldiers that guarded the tomb, and thy apparition confirmed the doubting hearts of thy disciples. We, therefore, who possess the knowledge of all these mysteries, beseech thee to grant, that the faith whereby we believe, may present us before thee, after this life, free from sin. May neither sloth engender, nor indiscreet prying foster, any misgiving of doubt or error concerning thee. Preserve in thy holy name them thou hast redeemed by thy precious blood. Let our souls contemplate thee: and vouchsafe to enter into our hearts. thou, that, on this day, didst appear in the midst of thy Disciples and greet them with peace, abide ever with us. Thou didst breathe upon them the Spirit of life; grant us the consolation of the same Holy Spirit.


Once more let us listen to the devout Adam of St Victor. His Sequences were great favourites with our Catholic Forefathers of the Middle ages. The triumph of our Redeemer over death was a subject which this great liturgical Poet has often treated in a most masterly way.

SEQUENCE

The world’s renovation creates new joy. All creatures rise together with their Lord. The elements obey him, and feel their Creator’s mighty power.

Fire is impetuous in its flight; air is swift; water is flowing; earth is firm; light things tend aloft, and those that are heavy seek their center: but all are now renewed.

Heaven is more serene, the sea more tranquil the winds breathe softer. Our valley is filled with flowers; and now that gentle Spring is come, the dry things have put on green again, and the cold a genial warmth.

The frost of death is thawed. The prince of this world is made captive, and has no longer power over us: by striving to take Him over whom he had no claim, he lost his own.

Life conquers death; man now regains what he had lost — the joys of heaven; the angel sheathes his two-edged sword, and leaves the passage free.

Jesus opens heaven, and liberates them whom sin had made captives of death. For this great victory, be glory to Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Amen.
"So let us be confident, let us not be unprepared, let us not be outflanked, let us be wise, vigilant, fighting against those who are trying to tear the faith out of our souls and morality out of our hearts, so that we may remain Catholics, remain united to the Blessed Virgin Mary, remain united to the Roman Catholic Church, remain faithful children of the Church."- Abp. Lefebvre
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#3
Fr. Hewko Sermons for Low Sunday [April 19, 2020]


"Why Did Our Lord Breathe On Them?"




"Abp. Lefebvre Told Frenchmen:'You Cannot Allow Our Country To Fall To Socialism!'"

"So let us be confident, let us not be unprepared, let us not be outflanked, let us be wise, vigilant, fighting against those who are trying to tear the faith out of our souls and morality out of our hearts, so that we may remain Catholics, remain united to the Blessed Virgin Mary, remain united to the Roman Catholic Church, remain faithful children of the Church."- Abp. Lefebvre
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