|First Sunday after Easter|
Why is this Sunday called "Dominica in Albis," (White Sunday)?
Because, in the earlier times, those who had been baptized on Holy Saturday on this day laid aside the white garments which they had then received, and put on their necks an "Agnus Dei," made of white wax, and blessed by the Pope, to remind them continually that they were bound to preserve that innocence unstained.
he First Epistle of St. John the Apostle, v. 4-10. Dearly Beloved: Whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory which overcometh the world, our faith. Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God? This is he that came by water and blood, Jesus Christ: not by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit which testifieth, that Christ is the truth. And there are three Who give testimony in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost. And these three are one. And there are three that give testimony on earth: the spirit, and the water, and the blood, and these three are one. If we receive the testimony of men, the testimony of God is greater. For this is the testimony of God, which is greater, because He hath testified of His Son. He that believeth in the Son of God, hath the testimony of God in himself.
By loving faith in Jesus as the Son of God, we can surely overcome the world, because that faith shows us in God, our Father; in the world to come, our true country; in Jesus, our example; teaching us to love God above all things, to disregard the world, and worldly goods, and to strive for the eternal. That Jesus is the Son of God, St. John shows: 1. By the threefold testimony on earth, of the water at the baptism in Jordan, of the blood at the death on the cross, of the spirit in the miraculous effects wrought in those that believe. 2. By the threefold testimony from heaven of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost.
O Jesus, I believe in Thee, as the Son of the living God! Grant that through this faith I may victoriously combat the flesh, the world, the devil, and every inclination to evil, and obtain everlasting lafe.
he Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ, According to St. John, xx. 19-31. At that time: When it was late that same day, the first of the week, and the doors were shut, where the disciples were gathered together for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in the midst, and said to them: Peace be to you. And when He had said this, He showed them His hands, and His side. The disciples therefore were glad, when they saw the Lord. He said therefore to them again: Peace be to you. As the Father hath sent Me, I also send you. When He had said this, He breathed on them; and He said to them: Receive ye the Holy Ghost. Whose sins you shall forgive, they are forgiven them: and whose sins you shall retain, they are retained. Now Thomas, one of the twelve, who is called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came. The other disciples therefore said to him: We have seen the Lord. But he said to them: Except I shall see in His hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the place of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe. And after eight days again His disciples were within, and Thomas with them. Jesus cometh, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said: Peace be to you. Then He saith to Thomas: Put in thy finger hither, and see My hands; and bring hither thy hand, and put it into My side: and be not faithless but believing. Thomas answered, and said to Him: My Lord, and my God. Jesus saith to him: Because thou hast seen Me, Thomas, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and have believed. Many other signs also did Jesus in the sight of His disciples, which are not written in this book. But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God: and that believing, you may have life in His name.
Why does Jesus so often say, "Peace be to you"?
To signify that He had restored peace between God and man; to show how men might know His disciples; and how necessary to salvation the preservation of peace is.
Why did God permit Thomas to disbelieve the appearance of Christ to the other disciples?
That we might thereby be strengthened in faith, for as Christ took away all doubts from Thomas, by appearing again, the resurrection of Christ by that means becomes, as St. Gregory says, so much the more credible and certain.
What is it to believe in God?
To receive as immovably certain what God has revealed to us, although we cannot understand it.
What must we, therefore, believe?
All that God has revealed.
Why must we believe all this?
Because God, the infallible truth, has revealed it. This belief is as necessary to salvation as it is reasonable in itself.
How can we certainly know what God has or has not revealed, and which this one true faith is?
Through His Church, which is guided by the Holy Ghost to all truth, and in which Jesus Christ dwells till the end of time.
How can we know the Church of Christ?
By this, that, like the truth, she is one, holy, apostolic, and catholic.
Which is this true Church of Christ?
The Roman Catholic, since she alone possesses the above mentioned marks of the true Church. She alone has preserved unity in faith and in the holy sacraments, and is subordinate to one visible head, the Pope. She alone can trace her derivation from the apostles to the present day, and can demonstrate this origin as well by her doctrine, as by the succession of her popes and bishops. She alone has all the means of salvation, and she alone has produced saints. Finally, she alone embraces all ages, and shines, as St. Augustine says, from one end of the world to the other, in the splendor of one and the same faith, inviting all to her bosom, to bring them to Jesus.
What answer should a Catholic make to objections against the Mass, purgatory, and such like?
He should say, I believe these and the like matters of faith, because God, Who is Truth, has revealed them, because the Roman Catholic Church, which teaches them to me, has all the marks of the true Church of Christ, guided by God, and cannot therefore deceive me.
Is it sufficient for salvation to have the true faith, and to belong to the true Church?
No; we must live according to that faith, - that is, we must observe what it commands, avoid what it forbids, and often, particularly in temptation, make an act of faith.