Easter Sunday The Gospel Mark 16.v.1 Thursday Meditation: A Plaine Path-way To Heaven Thomas Hill 1634
St. Mark, 16. 1-7.At that time, Mary Magdalen, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought sweet spices, that coming they might anoint Jesus. And very early in the morning, the first day of the week, they came to the sepulchre, the sun being now risen. And they said one to another: Who shall roll us back the stone from the door of the sepulchre? And looking, they saw the stone rolled back. For it was very great. And entering into the sepulchre, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, clothed with a white robe, and they were astonished. Who saith to them: Be not affrighted; ye seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified: He is risen, He is not here; behold the place where they laid Him. But go, tell His disciples, and Peter, that He goeth before you into Galilee; there you shall see Him, as He told you.
All things, saieth the holy Scripture, have their time, and all things under the heavens pass in their several spaces: there is a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant and a time to pluck up what was planted: and so the Text goeth on in diverse exemplifications, and amongst the rest this is one, there is a time to laugh, and a time to weep. It is a thing that St. Paul reckoneth amongst the peculiar gifts of the holy ghost, to rejoice with them that rejoice, and to weep with them that weep.
We have now this holy time of Lent fasted forty days with our Savior Christ, we have assisted him to bear his cross with Simon of Cyrene, or rather , as I may term it, our own cross for our sins, & that an easy one too, in comparison of his heavy cross and our demerits.
We have wept with Christ this holy week, who as St.Paul saieth, in the days of his flesh, and principally at his death and passion, offered up prayers and supplications unto him that was able to save him from death,with a strong cry and tears.
We have been afflicted and contristated with Christ this holy week, and have not been of that number of which the Prophet David, by way of exprobracion, saieth in the person of Christ: I looked about to see who would bear me company in my sorrow and there was none: I looked about to see who would comfort me,and I found none.
As the time of Lent hath been a time of joy,and exultation, singing with the Church, this joyful Canticle or song:This is the day which our Lord hath made,let us rejoice and exult therein and as the people did on palm Sunday,salute Christ riding to Jerusalem, with Hosanna in the highest: so are we now to salute him being risen from death with Alleluia, in the highest.
And herein first we rejoice with Christ who no doubt,as he desired with an incomparable desire to suffer death for us upon the cross saying of it a little before his death, I am to be baptized with a kind of baptism (to wit; my death and passion)and how long do I think it long til it be done? that is to say, what an ardent desire and longing have I to do it?which he would not express by any set words of affirmation, but by a (how) of interrogation or admiration.
Such was his desire to die for our redemption, such was his joy when he had done it, and risen again from death, without which his death had nothing availed us.
We rejoice not only with Christ, but with his blessed mother, the Virgin Mary, of whom we may conceive, that if a Mother hath so great joy at the birth of a son, that presently she forgetteth all her pains be they never so sharp: what joy had this mother, for her son, and such a son, rising again so gloriously and victoriously after such an ignominious death.
We rejoice also with the disciples,who shut themselves up sorrowfully in Jerusalem in some private room, to see the event, being then yet doubtful of his resurrection again.
We rejoice with the holy fathers of the old Testament, that had made many hundred years expected their delivery out of prison.
And lastly we are to invite all the creatures of the world, to rejoice and give God thanks with us and for us; yet so, as the Apostle saieth, if we be risen with him in newness of life from the Sepulcher of our former sins, and ingratitude to God: otherwise we rejoice not with them that truly rejoice, though we seem outwardly to rejoice never so much.
Let us hear how Saint Paul teacheth the Corinthians to keep their Easter or paschal lamb offered up in Sacrifice for us therefore (that is to say if we will have the benefit thereof and rejoice indeed) let us feast and be merry not in our old leaven,nor in the sour leaven of sin,and naughtiness: but in the sweet unleaven bread of sincerity and truth