Yesterday, we saw how Cardijn and the early YCW leaders worked to commemorate Christ’s death on Good Friday in factories, offices and workplaces across Belgium
Today, we recall Cardijn’s vision of Easter communion, not individually but collectively with a young workers’ breakfast to honour the Resurrection of Jesus and pray for the “Resurrection” of young workers and the whole working class.
Today the whole Catholic Church will meet in the greatest cathedrals, as well as in the humblest chapels. To the powerful chords of triumphal organs, to the vibrant accents of hossanahs and hallelujahs, hundreds of millions of people will acclaim the divine Risen One!
Three days ago, he was arrested and sentenced to death. They spat in his face; they slapped him, they tore off his clothes, beat him with rods, crowned him with thorns, dragged him in the mud, then, after a shameful cavalcade through the mocking city, on a desert hill they had him nailed to a cross, hoisted between two assassins; and there, hanging between heaven and earth, after three hours of dreadful agony, he died before the eyes of all the populace who had come there.
And here today, angels had removed the heavy stone from his tomb. His radiant body had shaken death. He appeared alive to his mother, his apostles and his disciples…
So he really is God! He, the humble carpenter of Nazareth, the crucified one of Golgotha, the founder of the doctrine and of the Catholic Church, our Lord Jesus Christ!
And around the large family table which is the communion bench, today all the true children of the Church will celebrate Easter, feed on his divine person, under the guise of a consecrated host, in remembrance of his resurrection!
But it is not only the risen Christ nineteen hundred years ago whom the whole Church acclaims at Easter, it is also and above all the risen Christ, living within us, enabling us to participate in the glory of his resurrection, and it is the certain, glorious and eternal resurrection of all those who believe in Christ and who live by Christ, which the Church proclaims on the feast of Easter.
If He has overcome death, all of His true followers will overcome death. Living in us, now hidden and painful, because of temptations, failures and sufferings, Christ will reveal himself there one day, radiant and triumphant, and will enable us to share eternally in the glorious and blessed life of his risen person.
And it is this certainty, which responds so well to the most irresistible aspirations and the dearest hopes of human nature, that the Church, today, proclaims before all the peoples of the earth: We will rise with the Risen Christ I
And the Catholic Church itself, radiant and conquering, of which we are militant members, must also shine more and more with the victorious Beauty of the risen Christ.
She who meets today in so many churches and in so many countries, must spread ever more widely to all the peoples and all the nations of the world; it must gather in its bosom all those for whom Christ died and rose again; it must, by the beneficent action of its doctrine and its works, shine more and more with the Holiness of its Divine Founder, until it is, in the face of heaven and earth, like an immense Christ who completes in the world the work of the redemption of men!
And we, Jocists. we are also celebrating, today, the Easter of working-class youth; we acclaim his resurrection, ever more radiant and more glorious, by their return en masse to Christ and to the Church.
We acclaim the victory of a working class youth, more beautiful and bigger, which carries within it promises of eternity;
Young workers more sheltered from the dangers of the body and the dangers of the soul;
Young workers more resplendent in physical health, as in spiritual health;
Young workers more radiant with true pride in their human labour and divine mission.
And we believe in the resurrection of young workers, because we believe in the resurrection of Christ, whose seed we wish to sow in the souls of all young workers.
This is why all our Jocists will celebrate Easter, not by an individual communion, each one for himself, lost in the crowd, ignoring one other;
But all members of the same section will unite in a general and solemn communion, with their chaplain celebrating the holy sacrifice of the mass; meeting, if possible, after Mass for a fraternal lunch to wish each other a holy and happy Easter.
And all the sections of each Federation will unite in a holy emulation to make the Easter Bells resound throughout their region and launch a victorious offensive so that soon the young workers of every municipality and parish, gathered in the J.O.C.F. and the J.O.C., will together celebrate the Easter of Christian workers.
And the whole national J.O.C celebrating Easter with the victorious Christ, will soon ensure that in honour of the resurrection of Christ the worker all the bells of the nation will announce the joyful and triumphal Resurrection of young people and the working class by restoring the Kingship of Christ over the whole of society.
La Jeunesse Ouvrière, N° 13, 30 March 1929
Joseph Cardijn, Pâques Jocistes (Joseph Cardijn Digital Library)
One Reply to “A Jocist Easter”
Wonderful and hopeful!
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