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The Second Sunday after Easter MMXII

God, who by the humiliation of thy Son, didst raise up the fallen world; grant unto thy faithful ones perpetual gladness, and those whom thou hast delivered from the danger of everlasting death, do thou make partakers of eternal joys; through..

Deus, qui in Filii tui humilitate jacentem mundum erexisti; (fidelibus tuis perpetuam) laetitiam concede:et quos perpetua mortis eripuisti casibus, guadiis (facias) sempiternis perfrui. Per
--Gelesian Sacramentary

Introit: The earth is full of the goodness of the LORD: by the Word of the LORD were the heavens made…
Ps: Rejoice in the Lord: O ye righteous…
Epistle:  …1st Peter 2:21-25
Gradual:  Hallelujah. Then was the Lord Jesus know of the disciples…
Gospel:  …John 10:11-16  I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep…

See it all here

Deus, qui in Filii tui humilitate jacentem mundum erexisti

This Sunday's collect looks beyond the Resurrection of Jesus to the resurrection God wrought for mankind; all accomplished through the humiliation of his Son on the cross.

(fidelibus tuis perpetuam)

The collect recognizes that this gift is not for all, but is reserved for God's faithful ones.

laetitiam concede :et quos perpetua mortis eripuisti casibus guadiis (facias) sempiternis perfrui. 

Grant us happiness and eternal joy when we pass over from this life O Lord. Jesus said, "Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord. " [Matthew 25:21]

Many folk leave this world in great doubt. They do not have any personal assurance that they will be welcomed into the Lord's Sabbath, and into his joy. For many, I believe they depend on their own inadequate work to justify their entry into that peace- and can find none. On the other hand, there are those who depart this life with anticipation of the felicity which shall follow, and are glad to shed this mortal shell with the assurance of rest and peace as they sleep in Christ and the ultimate resurrection of their body into the new heaven and earth. They rely not on their inadequate works, but rather on the finished work of Christ and their membership in his body.  Thomas Jackson was such a man. In Juy 1861 he said to Captain John D. Imboden. "My religious belief teaches me to feel as safe in battle as in bed. God has fixed the time for my death. I do not concern myself about that, but to be always ready, no matter when it may overtake me. That is the way all men should live, and then all would be equally brave". [Stonewall Jackson As Military Commander (2000) by John Selby]

Jackson was indeed ready. He had contracted pneumonia and knew he would die. He was glad when his surgeon told him he would pass from this life on a Sunday.  Jackson's surgeon recorded his passing in his diary, and some years later published this account, "A few moments before he died he cried out in his delirium, 'Order A.P. Hill to prepare for action! Pass the infantry to the front rapidly! Tell Major Hawks'—then stopped, leaving the sentence unfinished. Presently a smile of ineffable sweetness spread itself over his pale face, and he said quietly, and with an expression, as if of relief, 'Let us cross over the river, and rest under the shade of the trees.' [McGuire, Dr. Hunter. "Death of Stonewall Jackson". Southern Historical Society Papers 14 (1886)]

And Jesus said to his disciples, and to all his chosen, "Be of good cheer, I have overcome the world"  [John 16:33].  In the Gospel he gives us this assurance, "I am the good shepherd; and know my sheep, and am known of mine, even as the Father knoweth me, and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep. And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one flock, and one shepherd." [John 10:11-16]; and he shall not suffer one of his sheep to be lost [John 10:28]

See an homily by Chrysostom on the Gospel 

(Portions were paraphrased and passages cited from The Collect of the Day, by Paul Zeller Strodach, 1939, The United Lutheran Press, Philadelphia)
The Ancient Collect: Its history and form
Released by Primus Pilus
Legio Christi-Ecclesia Militans
"Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another" [St. Paul's Epistle to the Romans 14:19]


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