Lent Day 46: Easter Eve — The Entombment.

Easter Eve — The Entombment.

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Read St. Luke xxiii.  50-56.

[50] And behold there was a man named Joseph, who was a counsellor, a good and just man,

[51] (The same had not consented to their counsel and doings;) of Arimathea, a city of Judea; who also himself looked for the kingdom of God. [52] This man went to Pilate, and begged the body of Jesus. [53] And taking him down, he wrapped him in fine linen, and laid him in a sepulchre that was hewed in stone, wherein never yet any man had been laid. [54] And it was the day of the Parasceve*, and the sabbath drew on. [55] And the women that were come with him from Galilee, following after, saw the sepulchre, and how his body was laid.

[56] And returning, they prepared spices and ointments; and on the sabbath day they rested, according to the commandment.

1.  When Our Lady’s mournful task was finished, the body of Jesus was laid in the new tomb of Joseph of Arimathea, there to remain until the hour of its joyful resurrection.  Let us contemplate it as it lies there: disfigured by countless wounds and scars; so apparently helpless, yet none the less the joy of God and worthy of our highest adoration.  Passive and cold and motionless, but soon to be radiant with the most dazzling beauty; dead, but living with a divine life.  Learn from this:

  • (a) the glory of suffering;
  • (b) the power of apparent helplessness when God is with us;
  • (c) the beauty of passive obedience; and,
  • (d) the true life of those who are dead to the world.

2.  What was Our Lord doing while thus apparently inactive in the silent tomb?  He was beginning His work of triumph, delivering countless souls from purgatory and from limbo, consoling the patriarchs and prophets, fulfilling His promise of paradise to the good thief, trampling on Satan and changing the kingdoms of this world into the kingdoms of God and of His Christ.  So it is with us.  When we seem useless and doing nothing, we are often really doing the greatest things for God.

3.  The tomb where Christ is laid is to be the model of my soul when I receive holy Communion: silent from all din of earthly things, cleansed from all stain of sin by a good confession and firm resolution to amend, dedicated to Him alone, His sacred body embalmed by my love, and wrapped in the clean winding-sheet of purity of intention.  Thus will His presence there be the pledge of my resurrection with Him.

Chandler note to verse 54: Parasceve: That is, the eve, or day of preparation for the sabbath.


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