Bonaventure: The Wonder of His Resurrection

Ninth Fruit: The Wonder of His Resurrection

Jesus, Triumphant in Death Now that the agony of the passion was over, and the bloody dragon and the savage lion though they had obtained victory by murdering the Lamb, the power of divinity began to shine forth in His soul descending into hell. Through this power, our strong Lion of the tribe of Juda, rising against His fully armed foe, tore away its prey, broke down the gates of hell, and shackled the serpent. Disarming the Principalities and Powers, He displayed them openly, leading them away in triumph. Now Leviathan has been led about with a hook, his jaw pierced by Christ Himself. Thus Satan, who had no power over the Head he had assaulted, lost also any power he had seemed to have over the body. It was then that the true Samson destroyed by His death a whole army of enemies; then, that the immaculate Lamb delivered His prisoners by the blood of His testament, and sent forth His prisoners out of the pit wherein is no water; then, that the radiance of a new light long expected shone upon those that dwelt in the region of the shadow of death. Jesus Rising in Glory At dawn, on the third day of the Lord's holy repose in the tomb - at a point of time that is both first and last in the weekly cycle - Christ, the Power and Wisdom of God, having overcome the author of death, vanquished death itself, opened for us the way to eternity by rising from the dead through His divine might, and showed us the path to life. Now, there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven... His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment like snow. Gentle did he appear to the devout, but awesome to the wicked, in that he terrified the cruel soldiers but comforted the timid women. It was to these women that the Lord showed Himself first: a favor they had earned by the greatness of their love. Next He was seen by Peter, then by the disciples on their way to Emmaus, then by all the apostles with the exception of Thomas. Later, He appeared to Thomas also, and invited him to touch His wounds: whereupon Thomas declared his faith: "My Lord and my God!" Christ appeared in this way to His disciples on many occasions during forty days, eating and drinking with them. He enlightened our faith with proofs, lifted up our hope with promises, so as finally to inflame our love with gifts from heaven. Jesus, Utmost Beauty This beautiful flower of the root of Jesse, who had blossomed in the Incarnation and withered in the passion, now blossomed anew in the resurrection, so as to become our own crown of beauty. His most glorious body, subtle, agile, and immortal, is suffused with such radiant glory that He truly outshines the sun, forecasting how beautiful the human body will be at its own resurrection. Of this, indeed, the Saviour Himself has said: "Then the just will shine forth like the sun in the kingdom of their Father" - that is, in eternal beatitude. And if the just will shine forth like the sun, consider how brightly will then shine the glory of the very Sun of Justice! So bright, indeed, will be His refulgence that it is fairer than the sun, and surpasses every constellation of the stars; compared to light, His splendor takes precedence, and in all truth, may be called "matchless beauty." Happy the eyes that have seen! As for you, happy will you be if there remain of your seed to see, both in mind and body, this Splendor, worthy of all desire
Source: St. Bonaventure, "Ninth Fruit: The Wonder of His Resurrection" from "Mystical Opuscula" in The Works of Bonaventure, Vol. I - Translated from the Latin by Jose de Vinck (Paterson, N.J.: St. Anthony Guild Press, 1960), 132-133.