Easter Sunday The Gospel Mark 16.v.1 Monday Meditation: A Plaine Path-way To Heaven Thomas Hill 1634
MONDAYSt. 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.
Christ by his death and victorious resurrection, hath not only enabled us to overcome those three capital, enemies death, sin & hell by our death and resurrection after death,as he did according to that Prophecy of Osee in the person of Christ, I will deliver them from the hand of death I will deliver them from death. O death I will be thy death, O hell I will bite thee: but even in this life also, which unless we do, we cannot overcome them in the life to come.
Our resurrection glory after our death, is not absolutely acquired by the death and resurrection of Christ but that it dependeth upon certain conditions of our parts, to be performed, or else we may come short of it which conditions also are such, as of ourselves, we cannot perform them but by the assistance of Gods grace, (which is never wanting but through our fault) we may.
One condition a true and entire Catholic faith and belief, without which Saint Athanasius in his creed allowed and approved by the whole Church saieth we cannot be saved,and Saint Paul speaking of the same faith affirmeth that without it, is impossible to please God: another is baptism, of water and the holy ghost, for the absolution and washing away of original sin, wherein we are conceived, and born: without which as Christ said himself we cannot enter into the kingdom of heaven.
Another is the keeping of the commandments or remission of our actual offences if we break them in the Sacrament of penance, which Christ saith to his priests the ministers thereof whose sins so ever ye remit here on earth are remitted in heave, and whose sins you retain, or remit not, they are retained: another, the eating and drinking the body and blood of Christ in the Sacrament of the holy Eucharist,of which Christ saieth, unless ye eat my body and drink my blood ye cannot have life, to wit everlasting life in you.
All impediment that hinder us from these, or any other things necessary or behoovesful for our salvation the death and resurrection of Christ together with our firm belief thereof and hope of our resurrection with him after our death as members to be united with our head, is enough to enable us to overcome them, were they never so many or great, that is saith Saint John, which overcometh the world, that is to say all temptations, difficulties, and impediments that hinder our salvation is our want of faith to wit of the resurrection of Christ and our own.
This is the principal point and the chief of all the rest. For without this St. Paul writing to the Corinthians telleth them, his preaching was in vain and their belief in vain.A plain example here is this: Job in all his miseries and afflictions, when he sat upon a dunghill, and scraped away the corruption of his sores, with a shell, as unfit for any better place, deploring his misery, he converted himself to the comfort of his resurrection to glory and said thus. I know my redeemer liveth, and at the last day I shall rise again, from the earth and shall be clothed,with my flesh again, whom I myself shall see, and my eyes shall behold and not another, this hope I have laid up in my bosom.
Low this was the comfort and strength of Job in all his miseries, which were greater then any of ours, for God made him a pattern or masterpiece of patience, neither did he know the resurrection of Christ which was then to come, so clearly as we, now it is past, that he might likewise be a pattern unto us of believing of the resurrection of Christ and overcoming all miseries with the hope of his own.
St.Paul writing to the Thessalonians of the dreadfulness of the day of doom, afterwards telleth them, they that died before should first rise, and then those that were living should be taken up, in the clouds with them, and be with Christ forever, and at last concludeth thus: making an end likewise of the chapter, Therefore comfort one another in these words. The same Saint Paul writing to the Hebrews when he had made a long enumeration and rehearsal of, sundry sorts of exquisite torments and death which the Saints of the old testament had suffered, he saith thus of them they would not have any redemption, to wit from their sufferings by any unlawful means (nor peradventure lawful)that they might find a better resurrection.
This overcoming of all difficulties and impediments in the Service of God for the belief of the resurrection of Christ, and hope of ours in the virtue of his, is a spiritual resurrection in this life, by grace, whereby we attain to our resurrection after this life in glory:of this spiritual resurrection Saint Paul speaketh when he saith to the Colossians if you be risen with Christ, that is to say now in this life (therefore there is a resurrection in this life) and then he shows us how to know whether we be risen or no, If you be risen, saith he with Christ, you will seek those things that are above where Christ sitteth at the right hand of his father, you will be wise in those things which are above, not upon the earth.