"A little while and now you shall not see Me", said our Lord in the Cenacle... and you shall lament and weep" and "again a little while and you shall see Me... and your heart shall rejoice" (Gospel). When the apostles beheld our Lord again they experienced this joy which still overflows into the Easter liturgy. And just as Easter is a type of the external Pasch, so this is the same joy which will be felt by the Church when, having with sorrow begotten souls to God, she sees her Lord once more, triumphant in Heaven, at the end of time; but a short season compared with eternity. He will change our sorrow into joy which no man shall take from us (Gospel).
This holy joy begins here below, for our Lord has not left us orphans, but comes to us by the Holy Ghost, whose grace fills us with the hope of future bliss. As strangers and pilgrims journeying to heaven in the train of our risen Lord, we should not cling to the vain pleasures of the world but rather as St. Peter tells us, we should follow the precepts, positive and negative of the Gospel (Epistle), that professing ourselves Christians, we may "reject those things which are contrary to that name, and follow such things as are agreeable to the same" (Collect). So may we come to the heavenly kingdom whose joy and glory are described for us by St. John. "One of the seven angels said to me: Come and I will show thee the bride, the wife of the Lamb. And I saw the new Jerusalem coming down out of Heaven prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. Alleluia. How beautiful is she become, this bride from Lebanon" (Response).
Let us eat the Lord's Passover, that this nourishment of our souls may protect also our bodies (Postcommunion), and that subduing our worldly desires, it may make us love the things of heaven (Secret).
Jubilate Deo, omnis terra, alleluia: psalmum dicite nomini ejus, alleluia: date gloriam laudi ejus, alleluia, alleluia, alleluia. * Dicite Deo, quam terribilia sunt opera tua, Domine. In multitudine virtutis tuae mentientur tibi inimici tui.
Shout with joy to God, all the earth, alleluia: sing ye a psalm to His name, alleluia: give glory to His praise, alleluia, alleluia, alleluia. * Say unto God: How terrible are Thy works, O Lord! In the multitude of Thy strength Thy enemies shall lie to Thee.
(Psalm 65:1-3 from the Introit of Mass)
Deus, qui errantibus, ut in viam possint redire justitiae, veritatis tuae lumen ostendis: da cunctis qui Christiana professione censentur, et illa respuere, quae huic inimica sunt nomini; et ea quae sunt apta, sectari.
O God, who dost show to them that are in error the light of Thy truth, that they may return into the way of righteousness; grant to all those who profess themselves Christians to reject those things which are contrary to that name, and follow such things as are agreeable to the same.
Continuation of the holy Gospel according to St. John.
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 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.
(St. John 16:16-22)