Third Sunday after Easter
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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THE Church continues to rejoice and praise God for the Resurrection of Christ and sings accordingly at the Introit of this day's Mass: Shout with joy to God all the earth, alleluia: Sing ye a psalm to his name, alleluia. Give glory to his praise, alleluia, allel. allel. (Ps. lxv.) Say unto God: how terrible are thy works, O Lord! In the multitude of thy strength thy enemies shall lie to thee. Glory, &c.

PRAYER OF THE CHURCH. O God, who showest the light of Thy truth to such as go astray, that they may return to the way of righteousness, grant that all, who profess the Christian name, may forsake whatever is contrary to that profession, and closely pursue what is agreeable to it. Through.

EPISTLE. (i Peter ii. 11 — 19.) Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims to refrain yourselves from carnal desires, which war against the soul, having your conversation good among the Gentiles: that whereas they speak against you as evil doers, they may, by the good works which they shall behold in you, glorify God in the day of visitation. Be ye subject therefore to every human creature for God's sake: whether it be to the king as excelling, or to governors as sent by him for the punishment of evil doers, and for the praise of the good: for so is the will of God, that by doing well you may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men: as free, and not as making liberty a cloak for malice, but as the servants of God. Honor all men: Love the brotherhood: Fear God: Honor the king. Servants, be subject to your masters with all fear, not only to the good and gentle, but also to the froward. For this is thanks-worthy, in Jesus Christ our Lord.

Quote:EXPLANATION. St. Peter here urges the Christians to regard themselves as strangers and pilgrims upon this earth, looking upon temporal goods only as borrowed things, to which they should not attach their hearts, for death will soon deprive them of all. He then admonishes them as Christians to live in a Christian manner, to edify and lead to truth the Gentiles who hated and calumniated them. This should especially be taken to heart by those Catholics who live among people of a different religion; for they can edify them by the faithful and diligent practice of their holy religion, and by a pure, moral life lead them to the truth; while by lukewarmness and an immoral life, they will only strengthen them in their error, and thus injure the Church. St.Peter also requires the Christians to obey the lawful authority, and therefore, to pay all duties and taxes faithfully, because it is the will of God who has instituted lawful authority. Christ paid the customary tribute for Himself and Peter, (Matt. xvii. 26.) and St. Paul expressly commands that toll and taxes should be paid to whomsoever they are due. (Rom. xiii. 7.) St. Peter finally advises servants to obey their masters whether these are good or bad, and by so doing be agreeable to God who will one day reward them.

ASPIRATION. Grant me the grace, O Jesus! to consider myself a pilgrim as long as I live and as such to use the temporal goods. Give me patience in adversities, and so strengthen me, that I may willingly obey the lawful authority, though its laws and regulations should come hard and its tribute press upon me.

GOSPEL. (John xvi. 16 — 22.) At that time, Jesus said to his disciples: A little while, and now you shall not see me: and again a little while, and you shall see me: because I go to the Father. Then some of his disciples said one to another: What is this that he saith to us: A little while, and you shall not see me: and again a little while, and you shall see me, and, because I go to the Father? They said therefore: What is this that he saith, A little while? we know not what he speaketh. And Jesus knew that they had a mind to ask him, and he said to them: Of this do you inquire among yourselves, because I said: A little while, and you shall not see me: and again a little while and you shall see me. Amen, amen I say to you, that you shall lament and weep, but the world shall rejoice: and you shall be made sorrowful, but your sorrow shall be turned into joy. A woman, when she is in labor, hath sorrow, because her hour is come: but when she hath brought forth the child, she remembereth no more the anguish, for joy that a man is born into the world. So also you now indeed have sorrow, but I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice: and your joy no man shall take from you.

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What is the meaning of Christ's words: A little while and you shall not see me and again a little while and you shall see me?

St. Chrysostom applies these words, which Christ spoke to His apostles a few hours before His passion, to the time between the death of Jesus and His Resurrection; but St. Augustine, to the time between the Resurrection and the Ascension, and then to the Last Judgment at the end of world, and he adds: "This little whiles seems long to us living, but ended, we feel how short it is." In affliction we should console ourselves by reflecting, how soon it will terminate, and that it cannot be compared with the future glory, that is awaiting eternally in heaven him who patiently endures.

Why did our Saviour tell His disciples of their future joys and sufferings?

That they might the more easily bear the sufferings that were to come, because we can be prepared for sufferings which we know are pending; because He knew that their sufferings would be only slight and momentary in comparison with the everlasting joy which awaited them, like the pains of a woman in giving birth to a child, which are great indeed, but short, and soon forgotten by the mother in joy at the birth of the child. “Tell me," says St. Chysostom, "if you were elected king but were obliged to spend the night preceding your entrance into your capital city where you were to be crowned, if you were compelled to pass that night in much discomfort in a stable, would you not joyfully endure it in the expectation of your kingdom? And why should not we, in this valley of tears, willingly live through adversities, in expectation of one day obtaining the kingdom of heaven?"

PETITION. Enlighten me, O Holy Spirit! that I may realize that this present life and all its hardships are but slight and momentary, and strengthen me that I may endure patiently the adversities of life in the hope of future heavenly joys.

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You shall lament and weep. (John xvi. 20.)

THAT Christian is most foolish who fancies, that the happiness of this world consists in honors, wealth, and pleasures, while Christ, the eternal Truth, teaches the contrary, promising eternal happiness to the poor and oppressed, and announcing eternal affliction and lamentation to those rich ones who have their comfort in this world. How much, then, are those to be pitied who as Christians believe, and yet live as if these truths were not for them, and who think only how they can spend their days in luxury, hoping at the same time to go to heaven where all the saints, even Christ the Son of God Himself, has entered only by crosses and sufferings.

PRAYER IN TRIBULATION. O good Jesus! who hast revealed, that we can enter heaven only by many tribulations, (Acts xiv. 21.) hast called them blessed who in this world are sad, oppressed, and persecuted, but patiently suffer, and who hast also taught us, that without the will of Thy Heavenly Father, not one hair of our head can perish: (Luke xxi. 18.) I therefore submit entirely to Thy divine will, and beg Thy grace to endure all adversities for Thy sake, that after this life of misery I may enjoy eternal happiness with Thee in heaven.
"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
Third Sunday After Easter: The Patronage of Saint Joseph
Taken from The Liturgical Year by Dom Prosper Gueranger (1841-1875)

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The Easter mysteries are superseded today by a special subject, which is offered for our consideration. The holy Church invites us to spend this Sunday in honoring the Spouse of Mary, the Foster-Father of the Son of God. And yet, as we offered him the yearly tribute of our devotion on the 19th of March, it is not, properly speaking, his Feast that we are to celebrate today. It is a solemn expression of gratitude offered to Joseph, the Protector of the Faithful, the refuge and support of all that invoke him with confidence. The innumerable favors he has bestowed upon the world entitle him to this additional homage. With a view to her children’s interests, the Church would, on this day, excite their confidence in this powerful and ever ready helper.

Devotion to St. Joseph was reserved for these latter times. Though based on the Gospel, it was not to be developed in the early ages of the Church. It is not that the Faithful were, in any way, checked from showing honor to him who had been called to take so important a part in the mystery of the Incarnation; but Divine Providence had its hidden reasons for retarding the Liturgical homage to be paid, each year, to the Spouse of Mary. As on other occasions, so here also; the East preceded the West in the special cultus of St. Joseph: but in the 15th Century, the whole Latin Church adopted it, and, since that time, it has gradually gained the affections of the Faithful. We have treated upon the glories of St. Joseph, on the 19th of March; the present Feast has its own special object, which we will at once proceed to explain.

The goodness of God and our Redeemer’s fidelity to his promises have ever kept pace with the necessities of the world; so that, in every age, appropriate and special aid has been given to the world for its maintaining the supernatural life. An uninterrupted succession of seasonable grace has been the result of this merciful dispensation, and each generation has had given to it a special motive for confidence in its Redeemer. Dating from the 13th century, when, as the Church herself assures us, the world began to grow cold—each epoch has had thrown open to it a new source of graces. First of all came the Feast of the Most Blessed Sacrament, with its successive developments of Processions, Expositions, Benedictions and the Forty Hours. After this followed the devotion to the Holy Name of Jesus (of which St. Bernardine of Sienna was the chief propagator), and that of Via Crucis or Stations of the Cross, with its wonderful fruit of compunction. The practice of frequent Communion was revived in the 16th century, owing principally to the influence of St. Ignatius and the Society founded by him. In the 17th was promulgated the devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, which was firmly established in the following century. In the 19th, devotion to the Holy Mother of God has made such progress as to form one of the leading supernatural characteristics of the period. The Rosary and Scapular, which had been handed down to us in previous ages, have regained their place in the affections of the people; Pilgrimages to the Sanctuaries of the Mother of God, which had been interrupted by the influence of Jansenism and rationalism, have been removed; the Archconfraternity of the Sacred Heart of Mary has spread throughout the whole world; numerous miracles have been wrought in reward for the fervent faith of individuals; in a word, our present century has witnessed the triumph of the Immaculate Conception—a triumph which had been looked forward to for many previous ages.

Now, devotion to Mary could never go on increasing as it has done without bringing with it a fervent devotion to St. Joseph. We cannot separate Mary and Joseph, were it only for their having such a close connection with the mystery of the Incarnation:—Mary, as being the Mother of the Son of God; and Joseph, as being guardian of the Virgin’s spotless honor, and Foster-Father of the Divine Babe. A special veneration for St. Joseph was the result of increased devotion to Mary. Nor is this reverence for Mary’s Spouse to be considered only as a just homage paid to his admirable prerogatives: it is, moreover, a fresh and exhaustless source of help to the world, for Joseph has been made our Protector by the Son of God himself. Hearken to the inspired words of the Church’s Liturgy: “Thou, O Joseph! art the delight of the Blessed, the sure hope of our life, and the pillar of the world!” Extraordinary as is this power, need we be surprised as its being given to a man like Joseph, whose connections with the Son of God on earth were so far above those of all other men? Jesus deigned to be subject to Joseph here below; now that he is in heaven, he would glorify the creature to whom he consigned the guardianship of his own childhood and his Mother’s honor. He has given him a power which is above our calculations. Hence it is that the Church invites us, on this day, to have recourse, with unreserved confidence, to this all-powerful Protector. The world we live in is filled with miseries which would make stronger hearts than ours quake with fear: but let us invoke St. Joseph with faith, and we shall be protected. In all our necessities, whether of soul or body—in all the trials and anxieties we may have to go through—let us have recourse to St. Joseph, and we shall not be disappointed. The king of Egypt said to his people, when they were suffering from famine: go to Joseph! the King of Heaven says the same to us: the faithful guardian of Mary has greater influence with God than Jacob’s son had with Pharaoh.

As usual, God revealed this new spiritual aid to a privileged soul, that she might be the instrument of its propagation. It was thus that were instituted several Feasts, such as those of Corpus Christi, and of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. In the 16th century, St. Teresa (whose Writings were to have a worldwide circulation) was instructed by heaven as to the efficacy of devotion to St. Joseph: she has spoken of it in the Life (written by herself) of Teresa of Jesus. When we remember that it was by the Carmelite Order (brought into the Western Church in the 13th century) that this devotion was established among us—we cannot be surprised that God should have chosen St. Teresa, who was the Reformer of that Order, to propagate the same devotion in this part of the world. The holy solitaries of Mount Carmel—devoted as they had been, for so many centuries, to the love of Mary—were not slow in feeling the connection that exists between the honor paid to the Mother of God and that which is due to her virginal Spouse. The more we understand St. Joseph’s office, the clearer will be our knowledge of the divine mystery of the Incarnation. As when the Son of God assumed our human nature, he would have a Mother; so also, would he give to this Mother a protector. Jesus, Mary and Joseph—these are the three whom the ineffable mystery is continually bringing before our minds.

The words of St. Teresa are as follows: “I took for my patron and lord the glorious St. Joseph, and recommended myself earnestly to him. I saw clearly … that he rendered me greater services than I knew how to ask for. I cannot call to mind that I have ever asked him at any time for anything which he has not granted; and I am filled with amazement when I consider the great favors which God hath given me through this blessed Saint; the dangers from which he hath delivered me, both of body and soul. To other Saints, our Lord seems to have given grace to succor men in some special necessity; but to this glorious Saint, I know by experience, to help us in all: and our Lord would have us understand that, as he was himself subject to him upon earth—for St. Joseph having the title of father, and being his guardian, could command him—so now in heaven he performs all his petitions. I have asked others to recommend themselves to St. Joseph, and they too know this by experience; and there are many who are now of late devout to him, having had experience of this truth.”

We might quote several other equally clear and fervent words from the writings of this seraphic Virgin. The Faithful could not remain indifferent with such teaching as this. The seed thus soon produced its fruit; slowly, it is true, but surely. Even in the first half of the 17th century, there prevailed amidst the devout clients of St. Joseph a presentiment that the day would come when the Church, through her Liturgy, would urge the Faithful to have recourse to him as their powerful Protector. In a book published in the year 1645, we find these almost prophetic words: “O thou bright sun, thou father of our days! speed thy onward course, and give us that happy day, whereon are to be fulfilled the prophecies of the Saints. They have said, that in the latter ages of the world, the glories of St. Joseph will be brought to light; that God will draw aside the veil, which has hitherto prevented us from seeing the wondrous sanctuary of Joseph’s soul; that the Holy Ghost will inspire the Faithful to proclaim the praises of this admirable Saint, and to build Monasteries, Churches and Altars in his honor; that, throughout the entire kingdom of the Church Militant, he shall be considered as the special Protector, for he was the Protector of the very founder of that kingdom, namely, our Lord Jesus Christ; that the Sovereign Pontiffs will, by a secret impulse from heaven, ordain that the Feast of this great Patriarch be solemnly celebrated through the length and breadth of the spiritual domain of St. Peter; that the most learned men of the world will use their talents in studying the divine gifts hidden in St. Joseph, and that they will find in him treasures of grace incomparably more precious and plentiful than were possessed by every the choicest of the elect of the Old Testament, during the whole four thousand years of its duration.”

These ardent wishes have been fulfilled. It is now more than a century ago that the Carmelites sought and obtained the approbation of the Holy See for an Office in honor of the Patronage of St. Joseph. A great number of Dioceses obtained permission to use it. A Sunday was selected for the celebration of this new Feast, in order that the Faithful might be, in a way, compelled to keep it; for the Feast of St. Joseph in March is not a day of obligation for the universal Church and, as it always falls during Lent, it cannot be kept on a Sunday, since the Sundays of Lent exclude a Feast of that rite. That the new Feast might not be attended with the same risk of being unnoticed, it was put upon a Sunday—the third Sunday after Easter, that thus the consolations of such a solemnity might be blended with the Paschal joys. The new Feast went on gradually spreading from one diocese to another; till at last, there was unexpectedly issued an Apostolic Decree, dated September the 10th, 1847, which ordered it to be kept throughout Christendom. The Church was on the eve of severe trials; and her glorious Pontiff, Pius the Ninth, by a sacred instinct, was prompted to draw down on the Flock entrusted to him the powerful protection of St. Joseph, who, assuredly, has never had greater miseries and dangers to avert from the world than those which threaten the present age.

Let us then, henceforth, have confidence in the Patronage of St. Joseph. He is the Father of the Faithful, and it is God’s will that he, more than any other Saint, should have power to apply to us the blessings of the mystery of the Incarnation—the great mystery whereof he, after Mary, was the chief earthly minister.

In the Greek Liturgy, this third Sunday after Easter is called the Sunday of the Paralytic, because of a special commemoration is made of the miracle wrought by our Savior at the Probatica.

The Roman Church begins today, in her Office of Matins, the Book of St. John’s Apocalypse.


On this Feast, dedicated to St. Joseph as Protector of the Faithful, the Church, in the Introit of the Mass, speaks to us of the confidence we should have in the Protection of God: she uses the words of the Royal Prophet, and would have us make them our own. Now, St. Joseph is the Minister of this Divine Protection, and God promises it to us, if we address ourselves to this his incomparable Servant.

Adjutor et protector noster est Dominus: in eo lætabitur cor nostrum: et in nomine sancto ejus speravimus. Alleluia, alleluia. 
The Lord is our helper and protector: in him shall our heart rejoice: and in his holy name we have trusted. Alleluia, alleluia.

Ps. Qui regis Israel, intende: qui deducis velut ovem Joseph. ℣. Gloria Patri. Adjutor. 
Ps. Give ear, O thou that rulest Israel: thou that leadest Joseph like a sheep. ℣. Glory, &c. The Lord, &c.

In the Collect, the Church lays stress upon God’s choosing St. Joseph as Mary’s Spouse, and teaches us that one of the consequences of this choice was our having a Protector, who will be ready to assist us by his all-powerful intercession, as often as we pray to him.

Deus, qui ineffabili providentia beatum Joseph sanctissimæ Genitricis tuæ sponsum eligere dignatus es: præsta, quæsumus, ut, quem Protectorem veneramur in terris, intercessorum habere mereamur in cœlis. Qui vivis. 
O God, who, by thy unspeakable providence, didst vouchsafe to choose blessed Joseph to be the Spouse of thy most holy Mother: grant that, as we venerate him for our Protector on earth, we may deserve to be aided by his intercession in heaven. Who livest, &c.

A Commemoration of the third Sunday after Easter is then made, by this Collect.

Deus, qui errantibus, ut in viam possint redire justitiæ, veritatis tuæ lumen ostendis: da cunctis, qui christiana professione censentur, et illa respuere quæ huic inimica sunt nomini; et ea quæ sunt apta sectari. Per Dominum. 
O God, who showest the light of thy truth to such as go astray, that they may return to the way of righteousness: grant that all, who profess the Christian name, may forsake whatever is contrary to that profession, and closely pursue what is agreeable to it. Through, &c.

Lesson from the book of Genesis Ch. XLIX.
Joseph is a growing son, a growing son and comely to behold; the daughters run to and fro upon the wall. But they that held darts provoked him, and quarrelled with him, and envied him. His bow rested upon the strong, and the bands of his arms and his hands were loosed, by the hands of the mighty one of Jacob: thence he came forth a pastor, the stone of Israel. The God of thy father shall be thy helper, and the Almighty shall bless thee with the blessings of heaven above, with the blessings of the deep that lieth beneath, with the blessings of the breasts and of the womb. The blessings of thy father are strengthened with the blessings of his fathers: until the desire of the everlasting hills should come; may they be upon the head of Joseph, and upon the crown of the Nazarite among his brethren.

Quote:This magnificent prophecy of the dying Jacob, wherein he makes known to his son Joseph the glorious destiny which awaits himself and his children, is most appropriate to this Feast; it reminds us of the beautiful comparison drawn, by St. Bernard, between the two Josephs. We refer our readers to the 19th of March, where they will find the passage we allude to, and in which we are told that the first Joseph was a type of the second. After prophesying what was to happen to his ten eldest sons, the Patriarch Jacob speaks, with marked partiality, concerning the son of Rachel. After speaking of his comeliness, he alludes to the persecution he received from his Brothers, and to the wondrous ways whereby God delivered him out of their hands, and exalted him to glory and power. The words he uses may well be applied to the second Joseph, the Spouse of Mary, and the Protector of the Faithful; for who better deserves the title of Shepherd and Stone (i.e. strength) of Israel? We are all of us his family: he affectionately watches over us: and, in our troubles, we may rely upon him, with all confidence, as our staunch unfailing defender. St. Joseph’s inheritance is the Church, sanctified and made fruitful by the ceaseless blessing of the Waters of Baptism: it is in the Church that he exercises his beneficent power upon all who confide in him. Jacob promised the most lavish blessings upon the first Joseph; and these blessings were to last till the Savior, the desire of the everlasting hills should come, when the second Joseph would begin his ministry—a ministry of help and Protection, which would continue till the second coming of the Son of God. Finally, if the first Joseph be spoken of, in this prophecy, as a Nazarite (that is, one consecrated to God) and as a Saint among his Brethren, the second Joseph is to fulfill the prediction still more literally; for nor only will his sanctity surpass that of Jacob’s son, but his very home will be Nazareth. In that city he will dwell with Mary; to that city he will return after the exile in Egypt; in that city he will terminate his holy career; in a word, Jesus, the Eternal Word, shall be called a Nazarite, because he is to live in that city with his Foster-Father.

In the first Alleluia-Versicle, we have St. Joseph speaking to us; he encourages us to have recourse to him, and promises us untiring Protection. In the second, the Church prays, for her children, that they may have the grace to imitate the purity of Mary’s Spouse: her prayer is addressed to him.

Alleluia, alleluia. 
Alleluia, alleluia.

℣. De quacumque tribulatione clamaverint ad me, exaudiam eos: et ero protector eorum semper. Alleluia
℣. In whatever tribulation they shall cry to me, I will hear them; and I will be their protector for ever. Alleluia.

℣. Fac nos innocuam, Joseph, decurrere vitam, sitque tuo semper tuta patrocinio. Alleluia. 
℣. Obtain for us, O Joseph, to lead an innocent life; and may it ever be safe through thy Patronage. Alleluia.

Sequel of the holy Gospel according to Luke. Ch. III.

At that time: It came to pass, when all the people were baptized, that Jesus also being baptized and praying, heaven was opened; And the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape, as a dove upon him; and a voice came from heaven: Thou art my beloved Son; in thee I am well pleased. And Jesus himself was beginning about the age of thirty years; being, as it was supposed, the son of Joseph.

Quote:Being, as it was supposed, the Son of Joseph! Jesus’ filial affection for his Mother—his jealousy for the honor of the purest of Virgins—led him to treat Joseph as his Father, and to allow himself to be called the Son of Joseph! Joseph heard the Son of God call him “Father.” He had charge of, he labored for the maintenance of the Son of the Eternal Father. He was the head of the Holy Family at Nazareth, and Jesus recognized his authority. The plan of the Mystery of the Incarnation required that these relations should exist between the Creator and the Creature. As the Son of God, now that he is seated at the right hand of the Eternal Father, has kept our Human Nature indissolubly united with his Divine Person; so, likewise, has he retained the feelings he had, when here on earth, for Mary and Joseph. With regard to Mary, his love for her, as his Mother, has but increased; and as to Joseph, it is impossible to suppose that the affection and respect he had for him, have now ceased to exist in the Heart of the Man-God. No mortal was ever on such terms of intimacy and familiarity with Jesus as Joseph was. Jesus was grateful to Joseph for the paternal care he received from him; what more natural than to believe that Jesus now repays him with special honors and power in heaven? It is the belief of the Church; it is the conviction of the Faithful; it is the motive which suggested the present Feast.

The words of the Offertory are taken from Psalm 147. Jerusalem, that is, the Church, is bid to rejoice, because of the means of defense, which God has given her against her enemies. One of the greatest of the blessings thus conferred upon her is St. Joseph’s Protection.

Lauda Jerusalem Dominum, quoniam confortavit seras portarum tuarum: benedixit filiis tuis in te. Alleluia, alleluia. 
Praise the Lord, O Jerusalem, because he hath strengthened the bolts of thy gates: he hath blessed thy children within thee. Alleluia, alleluia.

In the Secret, the Church prays that we may imitate the Carpenter of Nazareth in his detachment from earthly things.

Sanctissimæ Genitricis tuæ Sponsi patrocinio suffulti, rogamus, Domine, clementiam tuam, ut corda nostra facias terrena cuncta despicere: ac te verum Deum perfecta charitate diligere. Qui vivis. 
Supported by the Patronage of the Spouse of thy most holy Mother, we beseech thy clemency, O Lord, that thou wouldst make our hearts despise all earthly things, and love thee, the true God, with perfect charity. Who livest, &c.

Then is made a commemoration of the Third Sunday after Easter, by the following Secret.

His nobis, Domine, mysteriis conferatur, quo terrena desideria mitigantes, discamus amare cœlestia. Per Dominum. 
By these mysteries, O Lord, may we be enabled to moderate our earthly desires, and learn to love those that are heavenly. Through, &c.

The Communion-Anthem is a sentence taken from St. Matthew’s Gospel, wherein we find the glorious title of our holy Protector: Joseph, the husband of Mary; and the still more glorious one of Mary: Of whom was born Jesus.

Jacob autem genuit Joseph virum Mariæ, de qua natus est Jesus, qui vocatur Christua, alleluia. 
But Jacob begat Joseph, the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ, alleluia.

Holy Church prays, in the Postcommunion, that St. Joseph, who is our Protector during this present life, may intercede for us in what concerns our eternal welfare.

Divini muneris fonte refecti, quæsumus, Domine Deus noster; ut, sicut nos facis beati Joseph protectione gaudere, ita ejus meritis et intercessione, cœlestis gloriæ facias esse participes. Per Dominum. 
Refreshed at the fountain of divine blessings, we beseech thee, O Lord, our God; that, as thou makest us rejoice in the Protection of blessed Joseph, so by his merits and intercession, thou wouldst make us partakers of celestial glory. Through, &c.

The Priest then adds this commemoration of the Third Sunday after Easter:

Sacramenta, quæ sumpsimus, quæsumus, Domine, et spiritualibus nos instaurent alimentis, et corporalibus tueantur auxiliis. Per Dominum. 
May the Sacrament we have received, O Lord, both revive us with spiritual nourishment, and defend us by bodily succor. Through, &c.

The following Gospel of the Third Sunday after Easter is read at the end of Mass.

Sequel of the holy Gospel according to John. Ch. XVI.

In illo tempore: Dixit Jesus discipulis suis: Modicum, et jam non videbitis me; et iterum modicum, et videbitis me: quia vado ad Patrem. Dixerunt ergo ex discipulis ejus ad invicem: Quid est hoc quod dicit nobis: Modicum, et non videbitis me; et iterum modicum, et videbitis me, et quia vado ad Patrem? Dicebant ergo: Quid est hoc quod dicit: Modicum? nescimus quid loquitur. Cognovit autem Jesus, quia volebant eum interrogare, et dixit eis: De hoc quæritis inter vos quia dixi: Modicum, et non videbitis me; et iterum modicum, et videbitis me. Amen, amen dico vobis: quia plorabitis, et flebitis vos, mundus autem gaudebit; vos autem contristabimini, sed tristitia vestra vertetur in gaudium. Mulier cum parit, tristitiam habet, quia venit hora ejus; cum autem pepererit puerum, jam non meminit pressuræ propter gaudium, quia natus est homo in mundum. Et vos igitur nunc quidem tristitiam habetis, iterum autem videbo vos, et gaudebit cor vestrum: et gaudium vestrum nemo tollet a vobis. 
At that time: Jesus said to his disciples: A little while, and now you shall not see me; and again a little while, and you shall see me: because I go to the Father. Then some of the disciples said one to another: What is this that he saith to us: A little while, and you shall not see me; and again a little while, and you shall see me, and, because I go to the Father? They said therefore: What is this that he saith, A little while? we know not what he speaketh. And Jesus knew that they had a mind to ask him; and he said to them: Of this do you inquire among yourselves, because I said: A little while, and you shall not see me; and again a little while, and you shall see me? Amen, amen I say to you, that you shall lament and weep, but the world shall rejoice; and you shall be made sorrowful, but your sorrow shall be turned into joy. A woman, when she is in labour, hath sorrow, because her hour is come; but when she hath brought forth the child, she remembereth no more the anguish, for joy that a man is born into the world. So also you now indeed have sorrow; but I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice; and your joy no man shall take from you.

℟. Deo gratias. 
℟. Thanks be to God.

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O glorious St. Joseph! Father and Protector of the Faithful! we bless our Mother the Church, for that she, now that the world is drawing to the close of its existence, has taught us to confide in thee.

Many ages passed away, and thy glories had not been made known to the world; but even then, thou wast one of mankind’s most powerful intercessors. Most affectionately didst thou fulfill thy office as head of the great human family, whereof the Incarnate Word was a member. Nations and individuals experienced the benefit of thy prayers; but there was not the public acknowledgment of thy favors—there was not the homage of gratitude, which is now offered to thee. The more perfect knowledge of thy glories, and, the honoring thee as the Protector of mankind—these were reserved for our own unhappy times, when the state of the world is such as to require help beyond that which was granted to former ages. We come before thee, O Joseph! to honor the unlimited power of thine intercession, and the love thou bearest for all the children of the Church, the Brethren of Jesus.

Thou, O Mary! art pleased at seeing us honor him, whom thou didst so tenderly love. Never are our prayers so welcome to thee as when they are presented to thee by his hands. The union formed by heaven between thyself and Joseph will last for all eternity; and the unbounded love thou hast for Jesus is an additional motive for thee to love him who was the Foster-father of thy Child, and the Guardian of thy Virginity—O Joseph! we also are the children of Mary, thy Spouse; treat us as such, bless us, watch over us, and receive the prayers which now more than ever, the Church encourages us to present to thee.

Thou art “the pillar of the world,”—columen mundi; thou art one of the foundations whereon it rests; because of thy merits and prayers, our Lord has patience with it, in spite of the iniquities which defile it. How truly may we say of these our times: There is now no saint;—truths are decayed from among the children of men! How powerful then must not thine intercession be, to avert the indignation of God, and induce him to show us his mercy! Grow not weary of thy labor, O thou universal Protector! The Church of thy Jesus comes before thee, on this day, beseeching thee to persevere in thy task of love. See this world of ours, now it is become one great volcano of danger by the boasted liberty granted to sin and heresy! Delay not thine aid, but quickly procure for us what will give us security and peace.

Whatever may be our necessities, thou art willing and able to assist us. We may be the poorest and last among the children of the Church; it matters not; thou lovest us with all the affectionate compassion of a Father. What a joy is not this to our hearts, O Joseph!—We will therefore turn to thee in our spiritual wants. We will beg thee to assist us in the gaining the virtues we stand in need of, in the battles we have to fight against the enemies of our souls, and in the sacrifices which duty asks at our hands. Make us worthy to be called thy Children, O thou Father of the Faithful! Nor is thy power limited to what regards our eternal welfare; daily experience shows us how readily thou canst procure for us the blessing of God upon our temporal interests, provided they are in accordance with his divine will. Hence it is that we hope for thy protection and aid in what concerns our worldly prospects. The house of Nazareth was confided to thy care; deign to give counsel and help to all them that make thee the Patron of all that regards their earthly well-being.

Glorious Guardian of the Holy Family! the family of Christendom is placed under thy special Patronage; watch over it in these troubled times. Hear the prayers of them that seek thine aid, when about to choose the partner who is to share with them the joys and the sorrows of this world, and help them to prepare for their passage to eternity. Maintain between husbands and wives that mutual respect, which is the safeguard of their fidelity to each other. Obtain for them the pledge of heaven’s blessings. Fill them with such reverence for the holy state to which they have been called, that they may never deserve the reproach given by St. Paul to certain married people of that day, whom he compares to heathens, who know not God.

Grant us, also, O Joseph, another favor. There is one moment of our lives, which is the most important of all, since eternity depends upon it: it is the moment of our Death. And yet we feel our fear abated by the thought that God’s mercy has made thee the special Patron of the Dying. Thou hast been entrusted with the office of making Death happy and holy to those who invoke thee. To whom could such a prerogative have been given more appropriately than to thee, O Joseph! whose admirable death was one of the sublimest spectacles ever witnessed by Angels or by men, for Jesus and Mary were by thy side, as thou didst breathe forth thy soul. Be, then, our helper at that awful hour of our Death. We hope to have Mary’s protection, for we daily pray to her that she would aid us at the hour of our Death; but we know that Mary is pleased at our having confidence in thee, and that where thou art, she also is sure to be. Encouraged by thy father love, O Joseph! we will calmly await the coming of our last hour; for if we are careful in recommending it to thee, thou wilt not fail to take it under thy protection.

The gladness of today’s Feast has been united with the Paschal joy: still, it is but just that the latter should have its own expression apart. We will, therefore, end the day by offering to our Risen Lord the following Preface: it is taken from the ancient Gothic Missal, published by Dom Mabillon.
(In die Sabbato, octava Paschæ.)
Dignum et justum est; necessarium et salutare est: ut te Dominum ac Deum totis visceribus humana conditio veneretur, Rex mirabilis Christe. Cujus condemnatione, tartareis vinculis absoluta credentium turba, literbatis insignia gratulatur. Qui vere ut Leo de tribu Juda mundo ostensus, animarum devoratorem exstinctum leonem diabolum omnis terra lætatur. Permittit se clavorum nexibus alligatum ad stipitem crucis teneri: ut non sit parva, quam impius quondam expavescat, potentia. Ad cujus vocem, emittens, spiritum, terra tremuit, cœlum expavit, dies fugit, sol obscuratus est, astra abscondentia radios suos, simul omnia migraverunt. Cujus descensu, confractis portis, luget Infernum. Quo resurgente, lætantur Angeli; exsultat terra cum habitatoribus suis. In quo triumpho, conspicitur comitatio illa prophetico ore promissa: Ero mors tua, o Inferne. Ubi est ergo victoria tua? Nec enim ab alio poterat, nisi a vita mors devorari. Qui descensu suo eos qui tenebantur a morte, superis reddidit resurgendo: ut ejus resurrectio vivorum vel mortuorum testimonio firmaretur. 

It is right and just, needful, and available to salvation, that mankind should, with all devotion, venerate thee, O Christ! admirable King! as its God and Lord.—This is He, whose being condemned broke the chains that held countless believers in the prison of Limbo, and enrolled them under the Standard of Liberty. This is He, who was shown to the world as the Lion of the Tribe of Juda; and all the earth celebrates, with joy, the the defeat of Satan, the lion that destroyed souls. This is He, who permitted his Body to be fastened with nails to the wood of the Cross, that the wicked spirit might know how great is the power he has to fear. When he cried out with a loud voice, and gave up the ghost, the earth shook, heaven trembled, day took flight, the sun was darkened, the stars hid their rays and disappeared. He descended into hell, broke its gates, and filled it with terror. He rose again, and the Angels rejoiced; let the earth, and they that dwell therein, be glad. It was in this his triumph that was seen what the Prophet had foretold, when he said: I will be thy death, O Hell! Where, then, is thy victory? For Death could not be destroyed save by Life. Christ having descended to them that were captives of Death, he restored them to Life by his Resurrection, which was thus attested by both the living and the dead.
"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
Third Sunday After Easter: Jesus Consoles His Disciples at His departure from this world

Gospel. John xvi. 16-22. At that time Jesus said to his disciples: A little while, and now you shall not see Me: and again a little while, and you shall see Me: because I go to the Father. Then some of his disciples said one to another: What is this that He saith to us: A little while, and you shall not see Me: and again a little while, and you shall see Me, and because I go to the Father? They said therefore: What is this that He saith, a little while? we know not what He speaketh. And Jesus knew that they had a mind to ask Him, and He said to them: Of this do you inquire among yourselves, because I said: A little while, and you shall not see Me: and again a little while, and you shall see Me? Amen, amen, I say to you, that you shall lament and weep, but the world shall rejoice: and you shall be made sorrowful, but your sorrow shall be turned into joy. A woman, when she is in labor, hath sorrow, because her hour is come: but when she hath brought forth the child, she remembereth no more the anguish for joy that a man is born into the world. So also you now indeed have sorrow, but I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice: and your joy no man shall take from you.

Our Lord was about to leave this world. The Apostles had received a terrible shock at His disgraceful death, and here was another cause of great grief. When Our Lord was crucified, they were scattered like a flock of frightened sheep, and when they came a little to their senses, they met in an upper room, where no one would look for them. What dreadful news is this He is telling them? "I am going to the Father, and you will see Me no longer." The world rejoiced when Our Lord was crucified, and at His going away it felt no sorrow. This same thing happens also to the followers of Christ in our time; for a little while they are in great trouble and affliction, as is always the case with every good life in this world. Show me a good man who does not worry and fret over the duties he has to perform, in order to do them well and to the greater glory of God. Soon, however, this sorrow is turned into joy; not only after death, but even in this life, there is many a foretaste of heaven for the good. The wicked try to have a good time in this world; they laugh a great deal, and enjoy everything, but at the end of life this joy becomes a fearful regret. They know that hell is waiting for them. In this life, too, they have hours of unhappiness and despair. Day and night they sin and are happy; their joy may last a few days or a few years, but the day comes when they have to leave this world with all its attachments. You remember that rich man of the Gospel, who had accumulated a great deal of wealth, whose strong boxes were full of money, whose extensive fields yielded a large income; he could not get rid of all, in fact he thought of building storehouses on a larger scale. "My soul, you have many goods; no danger of want, the gold is there in the safe, and can be used at any moment." What plans he made! He would travel from land to land, he would enjoy ocean voyages, he would get the best of everything, but in his heart he heard a voice whispering, "Thou fool, this night do they require thy soul of thee, and whose shall those things be which thou hast provided?" What startling information that must have been.

The idea often strikes me, though a little vulgar, that rich people are like fattened bulls which are the pride of the farmer; they are carefully tended and carefully fed for some time, but at the end is the slaughter-house. Certainly they are not to be envied. Neither, then, should good people who suffer envy the rich, who are in luck and are happy. It is hard to listen to this, because we have to be persuaded of a thing that human nature does not like. We have a horror of trouble and misfortune, and would put down as crazy any one who would tell us that misfortunes are a happiness. But the life of a sinner is not all sunshine; on the contrary what he thinks happiness is merely the ravings of a drunkard. It is true that there is a certain satisfaction in committing sin, but as soon as this is over, for it is only momentary, we feel a terrible disappointment, because it cannot be enjoyed longer. Yes, the happiness of the sinner is very short, it is frequently false and delusive. His smile hides a most saddened heart; at least it hides a conscience that is continually upbraiding the heart. He hears a voice that tells him heaven is not for men like him.

A certain criminal in Egypt was banished to an island for his crimes. Somehow he there began to realize his wickedness and a terrible fear overcame him; he used to think his throat would be cut in his sleep; then he would jump up, and, rushing out into the starry night, stand there looking at the brilliant heaven, and cry, "Yes, there is a God." He would recall all his crimes, and at last in fury would exclaim, "Yes, I know that I shall have to be punished for them." It is true, then, that the wicked do not have all their days bright and happy, and it is good that it should be so. Our Lord afflicts them purposely, strikes them hard while they are in the height of their enjoyment, so that they sometimes come to their senses, and are converted. When the prodigal son was in great distress, he thought of going home to his father's house. Affliction makes the wicked turn to God, and it is a blessed thing that these visitations are sent them for their eternal welfare. O, my good children! would that God might lay His hands heavily on many young people who have gone astray, in order that they might be reminded of their first instructions. It looks cruel to wish anybody trouble, but to pray to God that a sickness may prove to be a spiritual benefit to the sinner would not be bad, since it is sometimes the only way to correct evil habits.

Have pity on your souls, my dear youthful friends; be not of that unhappy number who repay God's goodness with black ingratitude. Remember that even were you rich, and gifted with the brightest intellect, if you are in sin you are the most miserable of human beings, you are servants of the devil. What will it profit you if you are rich in money, but poor in the grace and friendship of God? On the other hand, if you are in God's grace, even though you were a poor beggar, you would not deserve to be called unhappy, because the sufferings which God sends the just are disguised favors. St. Paul tells us this when he says, "I am filled with comfort, I exceedingly abound with joy in all our tribulations."

My dear young people, if you are in sorrow repine not, but accept the trials with a holy resignation, remembering that they are sent you by a good Father, who sometimes chastises His beloved to make them more perfect.

The story of Tobias in the Old Testament will illustrate this point. This old man was very dear to God; he practised many acts of charity toward his fellow captives; he saved from his own table all that he could to give to the hungry; he deprived himself of sleep, that in the dead of night he might do what was against the law, that is, bury the dead Hebrews that were slain and left on the roadside. What happened to him? An accident made him blind, and he was reduced to extreme poverty, expressly by God's permission, as the Scripture tells us, because He loved him so much. We may not be able to embrace with joy the evils we meet with in this world, but at least let us suffer with resignation and thank God for them. Yes, let us thank Him for that poverty which we have to endure, because it detaches us from the comforts of this life and raises us to the contemplation and hope of better things. Yes, let us thank God for the infirmities with which He chastises our body, which looks for nothing but satisfaction. He chastises our body in order to make us hate the false pleasures of the senses.

Yes, let us thank Him that we are not great men, that we are unknown, that we may seek our glory in God alone and our duty in a hidden way, saying with Job, "As it hath pleased the Lord so is it done; blessed be the name of the Lord." Lord, dost Thou wish me to be struck with sickness? be it so: Thy holy name be blessed. Shouldst Thou wish me to be persecuted with injuries and calumnies, blessed be Thy name in all these things. Thou, O God, dost permit the devil to tempt me with many and frequent temptations that give me much trouble; blessed be Thy name. Only give me the grace to be steadfast in virtue, and to resist them effectually. Lord, as long as I remain faithful to Thee, do with me what Thou wilt. If Thou dost want to put me into the light of Thy consolation, or if Thou dost place me in the school of sorrow; if I be in tribulation or in joy, I accept it all in the knowledge that it is Thy holy will; only preserve me from sin and its punishment, hell. If, my good friends, you are so disposed toward the providence of God you will accumulate many treasures of merit for heaven, and your crown will be a magnificent one.
"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
by St. Alphonsus Liguori

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A little while, and now you shall not see me.” JOHN xvi. 16.

THERE is nothing shorter than time, but there is nothing more valuable. There is nothing shorter than time; because the past is no more, the future is uncertain, and the present is but a moment. This is what Jesus Christ meant when he said: “A little while, and now you shall not see me. ” We may say the same of our life, which, according to St. James is but a vapour, which is soon scattered for ever. “For what is your life? It is a vapour which appeareth for a little while.” (James iv. 14.) But the time of this life is as precious as it is short; for, in every moment, if we spend it well, we can acquire treasures of merits for heaven; but, if we employ time badly, we may in each moment commit sin, and merit hell. I mean this day to show you how precious is every moment of the time which God gives us, not to lose it, and much less to commit sin, but to perform good works and to save our souls.

1. “Thus saith the Lord: In an acceptable time I have heard thee, and in the day of salvation I have helped thee.” (Isa. xlix. 8.) St. Paul explains this passage, and says, that the acceptable time is the time in which God has determined to confer his favours upon us. He then adds: “Behold, now is the acceptable time; behold, now is the day of salvation.” (2 Cor. vi. 2.) The Apostle exhorts us not to spend unprofitably the present time, which he calls the day of salvation; because, perhaps, after this day of salvation, there shall be no salvation for us. “The time,” says the same Apostle, “is short; it remaineth that .they that weep be as though they wept not; that they that rejoice, as if they rejoiced not; and they that buy, as though they possessed not; and they that use this world, as if they used it not.” (1 Cor. vii. 29, 30, 31.)

Since, then, the time which we have to remain on this earth is short, the Apostle tells those who weep, that they ought not to weep, because their sorrows shall soon pass away; and those who rejoice, not to fix their affections on their enjoyments, because they shall soon have an end. Hence he concludes, that we should use this world, not to enjoy its transitory goods, but to merit eternal life.

2. “Son,” says the Holy Ghost, “observe the time.” (Eccl. iv. 2 3.) Son, learn to preserve time, which is the most precious and the greatest gift that God can bestow upon you. St. Bernardino of Sienna teaches that time is of as much value as God; because in every moment of time well spent the possession of God is merited. He adds that in every instant of this life a man may obtain the pardon of his sins, the grace of God, and the glory of Paradise. “Modico tempore potest homo lucrari gratiam et gloriam.” Hence St. Bonaventure says that “no loss is of greater moment than the loss of time.” (Ser. xxxvii. in Sept.)

3. But, in another place, St. Bernardino says that, though there is nothing more precious than time, there is nothing less valuable in the estimation of men. “Nil pretiosius tempore, nil vilius reputatur.” (Ser. ii. ad Schol.) You will see some persons spending four or five hours in play. If you ask them why they lose so much time, they answer: To amuse ourselves. Others remain half the day standing in the street, or looking out from a window. If you ask them what they are doing, they shall say in reply, that they are passing the time. And why says the same saint, do you lose this time? Why should you lose even a single hour, which the mercy of God gives you to weep for your sins, and to acquire the divine grace? “Donec hora pertranseat, quam tibi ad agendam pœnitentiam, ad acquirendam gratiam, miseratio conditoris indulserit.”

4. O time, despised by men during life, how much shall you be desired at the hour of death, and particularly in the other world! Time is a blessing which we enjoy only in this life; it is not enjoyed in the next; it is not found in heaven nor in hell. In hell, the damned exclaim with tears: “Oh! that an hour were given to us.” They would pay any price for an hour or for a minute, in which they might repair their eternal ruin. But this hour or minute they never shall have. In heaven there is no weeping; but, were the saints capable of sorrow, all their wailing should arise from the thought of having lost in this life the time in which they could have acquired greater glory, and from the conviction that this time shall never more be given to them. A deceased Benedictine nun appeared in glory to a certain person, and said that she was in heaven, and in the enjoyment of perfect happiness; but that, if she could desire anything, it would be to return to life, and to suffer affliction, in order to merit an increase of glory. And she added that, to acquire the glory which corresponded to a single Ave Maria, she would be content to suffer till the day of judgment the long and painful sickness which brought on her death. Hence, St. Francis Borgia was careful to employ every moment time for God. When others spoke of useless things; he conversed with God by holy affections; and so recollected was he that, when asked his opinion on the subject of conversation, he knew not what answer to make. Being corrected for this, he said: I am content to be considered stupid, rather than lose my time in vanities.

5. Some of you will say: What evil am I doing ? Is it not, I ask, an evil to spend your time in plays, in conversations, and useless occupations, which are unprofitable to the soul? Does God give you this time to lose it? “Let not,” says the Holy Ghost, “the part of a good gift overpass thee.” (Eccl. xiv. 14.) The work men of whom St. Matthew speaks did no evil; they only lost time by remaining idle in the streets. But they were rebuked by the father of the family, saying “Why stand you here all the day idle ?” (Matt. xx. 6.) On the day of judgment Jesus Christ shall demand an account, not only of every month and day that has been lost, but even of every idle word. “Every idle word that men shall speak, they shall render an account for it on the day of judgment.” (Matt. xii. 36.) He shall likewise demand an account of every moment of the time which you shall lose. According to St. Bernard, all time which is not spent for God is lost time. “Omne tempus quo de Deo non cogitasti, cogita te perdisse.” (Coll. 1, cap. viii.) Hence the Holy Ghost says: “Whatsoever thy hand is able to do, do it earnestly: for neither work nor reason. . . .shall be in hell, whither thou art hastening.” (Eccl. ix. 10.) What you can do Today defer not till to-morrow; for on tomorrow you may be dead, and may be gone into another world, where you shall have no more time to do good, and where you shall only enjoy the reward of your virtues, or suffer the punishment due to your sins. “Today if you shall hear his voice, harden not your hearts.” (Ps. xciv. 8.) God calls you to confess your sins, to restore ill-gotten goods, to be reconciled with your enemies. Obey his call to-day; for it may happen that on tomorrow time may be no more for you, or that God will call you no more. All our salvation depends on corresponding with the divine calls, and at the time that God calls us.

6. But some of you will perhaps say: I am young; after some time I will give myself to God. But, remember that the gospel tells us, that Jesus Christ cursed the fig tree which he found without fruit, although the season for figs had not yet arrived. “It was not the time for figs.”  (Mark xi. 13.) By this the Saviour wished to signify, that man at all times, even in youth, should produce fruits of good works; and that otherwise, like the fig tree, he shall be cursed, and shall produce no fruit for the future. “May no man here after eat any more fruit of thee for ever.” (Ibid., v. 14.)“Delay not to be converted to the Lord, and defer it not from day to day; for his wrath shall come on a sudden.” (Eccl. v. 8, 9.) If you find your soul in the state of sin, delay not your repentance nor your confession; do not put them off even till to-morrow; for, if you do not obey the voice of God calling you Today to confess your sins, death may this day overtake you in sin, and tomorrow there may be no hope of salvation for you. The devil regards the whole of our life as very short, and therefore he loses not a moment of time, but tempts us day and night. “The devil is come down unto you having great wrath, knowing that he hath but a short time.” (Apoc. xii. 12.) The enemy, then, never loses time in seeking to bring us to hell: and shall we squander the time which God has given us to save our souls?

7. You say: “I will hereafter give myself to God.” But “why” answers St. Bernard, “do you, a miserable, sinner, presume on the future, as if the Father placed time in your power ?” (Serm. xxxviii., de Part., etc.) Why do you presume that you will hereafter give yourself to God, as if he had given to you the time and opportunity of returning to him whenever you wish? Job said with trembling, that he knew not whether another moment of his life remained: “For I know not how long I shall continue, and whether after a while my Maker may take me away.” (xxxii. 22.) And you say: I will not go to confession to-day; I will think of it tomorrow. “Diem tenes,” says St. Augustine, “qui horam non tenes.” How can you promise yourself another day, when you know not whether you shall live another hour?”If,” says St. Teresa, “you are not prepared to die today, tremble, lest you die an unhappy death.”

8. St. Bernardino weeps over the blindness of those negligent Christians who squander the days of salvation, and never consider that a day once lost shall never return. “Transcunt dies, salutis et nemo recogitat sibi perire diem ut nunquam rediturum.” (Serm. ad Scholar.) At the hour of death they shall wish for another year, or for another day; but they shall not have it: they shall then be told that “time shall be no more.” What price would they not then give for another week, for a day, or even for an hour, to prepare the account which they must then render to God? St. Lawrence Justinian says, that for a single hour they would give all their property, all their honours, and all their delights. “Erogaret opes, honores delicias, pro una horula.” (Vit. Solit., cap. x.) But this hour shall not be granted to them. The priest who attends them shall say: Depart, depart immediately from this earth; for your time is no more. “Go forth, Christian soul, from this world.”

9. What will it profit the sinner who has led an irregular life, to exclaim at death:! that I had led a life of sanctity! 0! that I had spent my years in loving God! How great is the anguish of a traveller, who, when the night has fallen, perceives that he has missed the way, and that there is no more time to correct his mistake! Such shall be the anguish at death of those who have lived many years in the world, but have not spent them for God. “The night cometh when no man can work.” (John ix. 4.) Hence the Redeemer says to all: “Walk whilst you have light, that the darkness overtake you not.” (John xii. 35.) Walk in the way of salvation, now that you have the light, before you are surprised by the darkness of death, in which you can do nothing. You can then only weep over the time which you have lost.

10. “He hath called against me the time.” (Thren. i. 15.) At the hour of death, conscience will remind us of all the time which we have had to become saints, and which we have employed in multiplying our debts to God. It will remind us of all the calls and of all the graces which he has given us to make us love him, and which we have abused. At that awful moment we shall also see that the way of salvation is closed for ever. In the midst of these remorses, and of the torturing darkness of death, the dying sinner shall say: O fool that I have been! life misspent! lost years, in which I could have gained treasures of merits, and have become a saint! but I have neglected both, and now the time of saving my soul is gone for ever. But of what use shall these wailings and lamentations be, when the scene of this world is about to close, the lamp is on the point of being extinguished, and when the dying Christian has arrived at that great moment on which eternity depends?

11. “Be you then also ready; for, at what hour you think not, the Son of Man will come.” (Luke xii. 40.; The Lord says: “Be prepared.” He does not tell us to prepare ourselves when death approaches, but to be ready for his coming; because when we think least of death, the Son of Man shall come and demand an account of our whole life. In the confusion of death, it will be most difficult to adjust our accounts, so as to appear guiltless before the tribunal of Jesus Christ. Perhaps death may not come upon us for twenty or thirty years; but it may also come very soon, perhaps in a year or in a month. If any one had reason to fear that a trial should take place, on which his life depended, he certainly would not wait for the day of the trial, but would as soon as possible employ an advocate to plead his cause. And what do we do? We know for certain that we must one day be judged, and that on the result of that judgment our eternal, not our temporal, life depends. We also know that that day may be very near at hand; and still we lose our time, and, instead of adjusting our accounts, we go on daily multiplying the crimes which will merit for us the sentence of eternal death.

12. If, then, we have hitherto employed our time in offending God, let us henceforth endeavour to bewail our misfortune for the remainder of our life, and say continually with the penitent King Ezechias: “I will recount to thee all my years in the bitterness of my soul.” (Isn. xxxviii. 15.) The Lord gives us the remaining days of life, that we may compensate the time that has been badly spent. “Whilst we have time, let us work good.” (Gal. vi. 10.) Let us not provoke the Lord to punish us by an unhappy death; and if, during the years that are passed, we have been foolish, and have offended him, let us now attend to the Apostle exhorting us to be wise for the future, and to redeem the time we have lost. “See, therefore, brethren, now you walk circumspectly, not as unwise, but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil,… understanding what is the will of God. ” (Eph. v. 15, 16, 17.) “The days are evil.” According to St. Anselm, the meaning of these words is, that the days of this life are evil, because in them we are exposed to a thousand temptations and dangers of eternal misery; and therefore, to escape perdition, all possible care is necessary. “What,” says St. Augustine, “is meant by redeeming the time, unless, when necessary, to submit to temporal loss in order to gain eternal goods ?” (de Hom. 50, Hom, i.) We should live only to fulfil with all diligence the divine will; and, should it be necessary, it is better to suffer in temporal things, than to neglect our eternal interests. Oh! how well did St. Paul redeem the time which he had lost! St. Jerome says, that though the last of the apostles, he was, on account of his great labours, the first in merits. “Paul, the last in order, but the first in merits, because he laboured more than all.” Let us consider that, in each moment, we may lay up greater treasures of eternal goods. If the possession of all the land round which you could walk, or of all the money which you could count in a day, were promised you, would you lose time? or would you not instantly begin to walk over the ground, or to reckon the money? You now have it in your power to acquire, in each moment, eternal treasures; and will you, notwithstanding, misspend your time? Do not say, that what you can do Today you can also do to-morrow; because this day shall be then lost to you, and shall never return. You have this day; but perhaps tomorrow will not be given you.
"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
Fr. Hewko's Sermons for the Third Sunday after Easter






"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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