They take the body of Jesus to its resting place.  The huge stone over the tomb is the final sign of the permanence of death.  In this final act of surrender, who would have imagined this tomb would soon be empty or that Jesus would show himself alive to his disciples, or that they would recognize him in the breaking of bread?  Oh, that our hearts might burn within us, as we realize how he had to suffer and die so as to enter into his glory, for us.

I pause to contemplate this act of closure on his life.  In solidarity with all humanity, his body is taken to its grave. 

I stand for a moment outside this tomb.  This final journey of his life has shown me the meaning of his gift of himself for me.  This tomb represents every tomb I stand before with fear, in defeat, struggling to believe it could ever be empty.

In the fullness of faith in the Risen One, given by his own Holy Spirit, I express my gratitude for this way of the cross.  I ask Jesus, whose hands, feet and side still bear the signs of this journey, to grant me the graces I need to take up my cross to be a servant of his own mission.

V. We adore you, O Christ, and we praise you;

R. Because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.

From Mark chapter 15 vs 46:

Joseph of Arimathea laid Him in a tomb, and rolled a stone across the entrance.

Christ’s lifeless body is laid to rest. The King of all universe, laid in a borrowed tomb.

“The King of all universe, laid in a borrowed tomb”! Even at that most sorrowful time – a mother’s anguish was satisfied. Help us Lord as families to remain humble, even through the most sorrowful experiences. Help us to know and trust that God will take care of us. It is during the saddest times in our life – that we experience the love and care of family, friends and even strangers like Joseph of Arimathea. We love you God.

 

"And Joseph took the body, and wrapped it in a clean linen shroud, and laid it in his own new tomb, which he had hewn in the rock; and he rolled a great stone to the door of the tomb, and departed. Mary Magdalene and the other Mary were there, sitting opposite the sepulcher."   (St. Matthew 27.59-61)

In the depths of this mirror a dim light is flickering, it is a light that will soon burst into a flame ...

O my Jesus, you are, as it were, the dead seed being laid in the ground.

This icon proclaims that all is finished ... "consummatem est" ...

On the heights of Mount Tabor, in your Transfiguration, we glimpsed the truth that has pursued us since: how much is concealed from us, both in light and darkness ... things are never quite what they seem and from this moment forth, nothing will be the same again.

I shall continue to gaze into this mirror Lord until I experience your risen presence in my life.

O Jesus, I believe in you, I love you — I wait for your return! Darkness or light, life or death, it matters not ... I will always find you there ... when all else tells me that you have left, I will always find you there. Always!

The birth of a song is stirring in my heart on the edge of this night, on the brink of this darkness, and I know that I shall soon sing, the song of everlasting songs:

 

Meditation: 

Jesus, your body is prepared for burial. Joseph gave you his own tomb. He laid your body there and rolled a large stone in front of it, then went home. What a sad day it has been for so many people.

As a child, sometimes I try to keep everything for myself. I find it hard to share my things with my brothers or sisters and with my friends. 

As an adult, I can be selfish too. I can accumulate things and keep them for myself. I try to make sure I have what I want before I share what I have with anybody else.

Help me think of Joseph of Arimathea, who risked his own life as he accepted Jesus' body for burial. Help me think of how Joseph loved Jesus so much that he gave him his own tomb.

My Jesus, beside Thy body in the tomb I, too, would lie dead; but if I live, let it be for Thee, so as one day to enjoy with Thee in heaven the fruits of Thy passion and Thy bitter death.

Prayer

My Jesus, You were laid to rest in a stranger's tomb. You were born with nothing of this world's goods and You died detached from everything. When You came into the world, men slept and angels sang and now as You leave it, Creation is silent and only a few weep. Both events were clothed in obscurity. The majority of men live in such a way. Most of us live and die knowing and known by only a few. Were You trying to tell us, dear Jesus, how very important our lives are just because we are accomplishing the Father's Will? Will we ever learn the lesson of humility that makes us content with who we are, where we are and what we are?

Will our Faith ever be strong enough to see power in weakness and good in the sufferings of our lives? Will our Hope be trusting enough to rely on Your Providence even when we have nowhere to lay our head? Will our Love ever be strong enough not to take scandal in the cross?

My Jesus, hide my soul in Your heart as You lie in the Sepulcher alone. Let my heart be as a fire to keep you warm. Let my desire to know and love You be like a torch to light up the darkness. Let my soul sing softly a hymn of repentant love as the hours pass and Your Resurrection is at hand. Let me rejoice, dear Jesus, with all the Angels in a hymn of praise and thanksgiving for so great a love- so great a God- so great a day!

 

Lord Jesus, 
make us children of the light 
who do not fear the darkness. 
We pray to you today 
for all those who search for meaning in life 
and for all those who have lost hope, 
that they may have faith in your victory 
over sin and death.  

Amen.

1 Our Father 

1 Hail Mary 

1 Glory Be ...

O Jesus Crucified - for us you suffered - for us you died - On the Cross

Daily Meditation by(c) 2013 Don Schwager
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