Preacher’s Sketchbook: Easter Sunday
April 16, 2014
Each week, a Dominican member of the Province of St. Joseph’s Preaching Advisory Board prepares this Preacher’s Sketchbook in anticipation of the upcoming Sunday Mass. The idea of the Preacher’s Sketchbook is to take quotations from the authority of the Church–the Pope, the Fathers of the Church, documents of the Councils, the saints–that can help spark ideas for the Sunday homily. Just as an artist’s sketchbook preserves ideas for later elaboration, so we hope the Preacher’s Sketchbook will provide some ideas for homiletical elaboration.
Gregory of Nyssa, Against Apollinaris
The Only Begotten himself raises up [the one whose separated soul and body is his own], having both separated the soul from the body and having reunited both, and in this way a common salvation of human nature is effected.
Cyril of Alexandria, Commentary on John
[The evangelists’] accounts add up. For early dawn and late night fix the same point of time, that is, the very dead of night, so to say.
Venerable Bede, Commentary on Acts
Jesus was not anointed with the Holy Spirit at the time when it descended as a dove upon him at his baptism; for at that time he condescended to prefigure his body, that is, his Church, in which the baptized principally receive the Holy Spirit. Rather, he must be understood to have been anointed with a mystical and invisible anointing when the Word of God was made flesh, that is, when human nature, without any preceding merits from good works, was joined to God the Word in the womb of the Virgin so as to be one person.
John Chrysostom, Homily on the Gospel of Matthew
Some of you may desire to be like these faithful women. You too may wish to take hold of the feet of Jesus. You can, even now. You can embrace not only his feet but also his hands and even his sacred head. You too can today receive these awesome mysteries with a pure conscience. You can embrace him not only in this life but also even more fully on that day when you shall see him coming with unspeakable glory, with a multitude of the angels. If you are so disposed, along with him, to be compassionate, you shall not only hear these words, “All hail!” but also these others, “Come, you blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you before the foundation of the world.”
John Chrysostom, Baptismal Instructions
We see the objects of bodily sight more clearly with the eyes of the spirit.
John Chrysostom, Homily on Holy Saturday
Each and every event that happened to our Savior is an outward sign of the mystery of our redemption. Just as Christ was born from his mother’s inviolate virginal womb, so too he rose again from the closed tomb. As he, the only-begotten Son of God was made the firstborn of his mother, so, by his resurrection, he became firstborn from the dead. His birth did not break the seal of his mother’s integrity. Nor did his rising form the dead break the seals on the sepulcher. And so, just as I cannot fully express his birth in words, neither can I wholly encompass his going forth from the tomb.
Ambrose, Flight from the World
[Know your goal]… to die to the elements of this world, to hide one’s life in God, to turn aside from corruptions, not to defile oneself with the objects of desire, and to be ignorant of the things of this world.
We have just been singing to God, “This is the day the Lord has made.” Let us talk about it, seeing that the Lord has presented us with it. This obviously prophetic Scripture wanted us to understand some thing, some day, not of the common sort, not visible to the eyes of the flesh; this is not the kind of day that has a sunrise and a sunset but a day that could know dawn but never know setting. Let us see what the same psalm had just said before: “The stone that the builders rejected, this has been made into the cornerstone. It was made by the Lord; this is wonderful in our eyes.” And then continues: “This is the day the Lord has made.” Let us take the cornerstone as introducing us to this day.
Sunday Preacher’s Resource
Additional Preaching Resources
- The USCCB: Easter Resources
- The Holy See: Easter
- Fr. Thomas Rosica (Salt and Light Media)
- The Torch
- Fr. Francis Martin Website
- Biblius Clerus, a resource of the Congregation for the Clergy
- The Catena Aurea of St. Thomas Aquinas, O.P., for the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John
Image: Konstantinos Parthenis, Victory