The Archbishop Speaks

Sermon of His Excellency Archbishop Marcel lefebvre
Easter 10 April 1977

In the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.

My dear friends,
My dear brethren,

During the days preceding the Feast of Easter, it was not without emotion, that we followed Our Lord Jesus Christ... we followed Him at the Last Supper when He ordained His apostles and made them priests for eternity. We followed Him in the Garden of Olives. We followed Him on the way to Calvary.

As St. Augustine said in one of the lessons, which we read during these holy days, Our Lord presented Himself during these days as a man. It was a true man who sweated blood, it was a true man who was scourged, it was man who was presented to the Jews: "Ecce Homo-Behold the man!" It was also a man who was crucified, whose heart was pierced. Thus those who crucified Him were sneering in front of the Cross where He was hanging, saying: "If thou art the Son of God, come down from the Cross, and we shall believe in Thee!" O wretched men! They were supposed to know the Scriptures. They should have known that when the Messiah would come, He would be crucified. All this had been foretold in the Scriptures, that His Heart would be pierced, that He would shed His Blood for the remission of sins, and that three days later He would rise again, and that He would rise again by His own power, by His Almighty Power! As Our Lord said: "I lay down My life willfully and I shall take it up again."

After these days during which many of His disciples and apostles abandoned Him - were frightened - behold, suddenly He manifested His Divinity more brightly than lightning. It was with all His splendor that Our Lord came out of the tomb, so much so that the guards were knocked down by the splendor coming out of the tomb - the Body of Our Lord more brilliant than the sun. O, how would we have liked to be present at this event! How we would have liked to be able to follow, with our eyes, what those who were close to Our Lord at that time were able to see!

But now, in the face of this event, unique in the whole history of mankind, we must make a choice: either we believe that a Man - God has risen from the dead and therefore has established His Divinity, or we refuse it.

Well, my dear brethren, we have made our choice! We have proclaimed it during the Easter Vigil, when we renewed the vows of our Baptism. We were asked: "Do you believe in Jesus Christ Our Lord, Who is risen and ascended into Heaven?" "We believe."

We have consciously and freely re-asserted what our godparents said on the day of our Baptism! But did we realize that this Profession of Faith, which we have renewed during this Vigil, binds us, as it bound us on the day of our Baptism, and that it has very serious consequences, very important ones?

Indeed, if we believe that Our Lord Jesus Christ is Almighty God, He "by whom all things were made," Who rose from the dead on Easter morning, then we must follow Him. We must obey Him as the Jews did when the Apostles reminded them that they had crucified Our Lord, and the Jews asked: "What shall we do? What shall we do?" The Apostles answered: "Do penance, and be baptized everyone of you!" (Act. 2:37-38)

To do penance and receive Baptism. Yes, indeed! From now on, not a single man, not a single soul on earth can be saved, can go to Heaven, can attain the goal for which he has been created, without receiving the Catholic Baptism! This is logical. It is necessary that Baptism produces holy grace, that Baptism gives grace. What is grace: Grace is nothing other than the very participation in the nature of Our Lord Jesus Christ, in His Divine Nature. Through Baptism, we become partakers in the Nature of Our Lord Jesus Christ, in His Divine Nature. We need to belong to Him by grace in order to enter Heaven. Without Our Lord Jesus Christ we can do nothing. He is the only Mediator between Heaven and earth, the only Mediator. We cannot perform a single meritorious act if we are not with Our Lord Jesus Christ. Such are the consequences of the Resurrection!

There is only one man who can say that He rose through His own power, that He laid down His life and took it up again. There is only the Author of life and of death Who is capable of saying such a thing - God Himself. Thus, if it is truly God Who rose again, men cannot be indifferent to the coming of God among them, telling them: "You can do nothing without Me!" (Jn.15:5)

If we glance back on the history of these twenty centuries which have elapsed since the Resurrection of Our Lord Jesus Christ, we are obliged to acknowledge that mankind is divided: there, are those who believe in Our Lord Jesus Christ and there are those who do not believe. Our Lord Himself told us: "He who is not with Me is against Me." Yes, indeed, because we have the duty to believe in Our Lord Jesus Christ, a strict duty. The fulfillment of this duty gives us eternal life and to disregard it, deprives us of it forever.

Now, we see that throughout history it is precisely around the Divinity of Our Lord Jesus Christ and on the subject of the Divinity of Our Lord Jesus Christ on which men were divided. From the beginning of the Christian era, the errors of Anus, of Nestorius, of Eutiches, of Pelagius were all about Our Lord Jesus Christ. Either they present Him as God only, denying His humanity, or they reduce Him to a mere man. They want to divide Our Lord Jesus Christ - and always in order to escape His Law, to disobey Him, to be freed from Our Lord Jesus Christ. Because if we believe that Our Lord Jesus Christ is God, then we must obey His law, the Decalogue, which He gave us, we must keep the Faith and profess the Creed, we must obey the Church that He has instituted and through which He gave us the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and the Sacraments. We are bound by all this.

And we can see that after all these heresies at the beginning of Christianity, the war against Our Lord Jesus Christ increased - under the pretext of humanism at the time of the Renaissance which led to Protestantism, which claimed freedom from the Christian religion through "private interpretation" of Holy Scripture, each one being allowed to think what he deems true when he reads Holy Scripture, being "free" from the Holy Church of God.

As time passed by, we see that men wanted all the more to be separated from Our Lord Jesus Christ, until the moment when it became something normal that societies and families were no longer Christian - they no longer accepted Our Lord Jesus Christ. The civil society especially was no longer Christian, and no longer obedient to Our Lord Jesus Christ. Yet, all is in His hands. Nothing shall escape Our Lord Jesus Christ when He shall come on Judgment Day, neither princes, nor kings, nor emperors, nor any ruler of the nations of our time and of this earth shall escape Our Lord Jesus Christ.

Therefore we ought to restore the esteem for the submission, which we must have to Our Lord Jesus Christ. He must reign in us, in our persons and in our souls, in our wills. He is King; He is our King, because He won His Kingdom by His Cross and His Resurrection. He is King of our families. He has created parents and children. In our cities, too, our civil societies have been created by Our Lord; all societies have been created by Our Lord. If then civil societies are creatures of God, just as families are creatures of God, then they owe obedience to Our Lord Jesus Christ.

Now, what do we hear today, particularly since the last Council? They precisely want to make civil societies free of the Kingdom of Our Lord Jesus Christ. They want to give the same esteem to all religions - they thus put on the same footing the authors of all different religions. That, we cannot do!

Because only Our Lord Jesus Christ rose from the dead. He alone is God. We must do all we can to bring our Faith to those who do not believe. If we truly believe that Our Lord Jesus Christ is God then we ought to preach Him everywhere, and to establish His reign everywhere. We must be missionaries.

They say: "It is not possible in our times." We know that the Kingdom of Our Lord Jesus Christ is never perfect [on earth], but we ought to strive for it. It is the same for holiness: we shall probably not all be able to become saints, we still have some defects in us, some tendencies toward sin, yet is this a valid reason not to strive for holiness? It is not because we have difficulties in reaching sanctification that we may say that it is useless to seek it. The case is the same here: in this world, even if we have great difficulties in establishing the reign of Our Lord in our societies, it is not a valid reason to not seek His kingdom. Salvation of souls is at stake! Souls are being lost because of all the scandals of the world!

One may wonder: "Where is the world today?" They tell us: "Protestants are our separated brethren." They tell Catholics: "You can now be a member of the Freemasons; it is no longer forbidden, the excommunication is lifted. You can have in your churches some chapels for Buddhists or Muslims, because these people have a right to their religion and to practice their religion as they wish." But where is the world today? If Our Lord was still here, what would He say? Would He no longer say these words: "The world hates Me. And the world shall hate you because you love Me and you believe in Me." Where is this world? Does it exist no longer? It has never been so much in existence as today! Never did Satan have so much influence in our world as today! And all this influence is contrary to Our Lord Jesus Christ.

Therefore, we must maintain our faith in Our Lord Jesus Christ.

We shall conclude by saying that we must remain faithful. Fidelity must be the mark of the true Catholic. Do they not call us "the faithful"? We are faithful, and being faithful, then we must truly practice the virtue of fidelity. What is fidelity if not to keep our promises, to keep our Faith in what has been taught in the past. Fidelity encompasses the past in itself. There can be no fidelity without something said or agreed upon. One is faithful to his word, and faithful to his Faith.

We want to be faithful to our Faith, to the Faith of all times. No one can change our Faith. We believe that today as well as in the time of Our Lord as well as for the two thousand years in between.

Satan and the world are enraged against Our Lord Jesus Christ, against all those who believe in Our Lord Jesus Christ. Unfortunately, we see this "within the Church Herself, not only outside the Church. In the very bosom of the Church they want to limit the reign of Our Lord Jesus Christ. They do not want Our Lord Jesus Christ to reign everywhere, in every soul, in every manner, in every domain. For us, we want Our Lord Jesus Christ to reign; He is our King! We just sang it a short while ago: "Tu nobis Victor Rex, miserere! - O, our victorious King, have mercy on us!" May He have mercy on us and help us to be faithful to all He has given us in our holy religion, faithful to the holy Church, faithful to the Sovereign Pontiff, successor of Peter, faithful to the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, faithful to the Sacraments, faithful to our Faith, to our Creed, faithful to the Ten Commandments (from which they want to suppress a few articles). Well, today, we promise to be faithful to what the Church has always taught us and to hand down to future generations the Faith which has been handed down to us by our parents, by our priests, by the Church for twenty centuries.

We shall ask this from the Blessed Virgin Mary, "Virgo Fidelis - Virgin most faithful." She was faithful, she remained with Jesus at the foot of the Cross, she did not run away! She did not abandon Our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, we shall ask of the Blessed Virgin that we be also with her near Our Lord.

In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.


Courtesy of the Angelus Press, Regina Coeli House
2918 Tracy Avenue, Kansas City, MO 64109

Vol. XIV, No. 4, Apr. 1991

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