We adore you O Christ and we praise You because by Your Holy Cross, You have redeemed the world…
How many times growing up did I say this while attending The Stations of the Cross every Friday afternoon during Lent. Even as a young child I was moved by the simple reflections given for these next two stations. I also know that for a long time I’ve often had thoughts about what my funeral would be like. Who would be there? What would the mood be like? Would there be sadness over my death, a sense of loss that I’m gone? To this day I still have those thoughts. Is that wrong? In today’s thoughts from “The Little Black Book”, Bishop Untener offers the following reflection:
Having bought a linen cloth, Joseph took Jesus down, wrapped him in the linen cloth, and laid him in a tomb that had been hewn out of the rock. (Mk 15:46)
There was a cemetery very close to Golgotha. Excavations have found tombs there, and since the second century, one of them has been venerated as the tomb of Jesus.
The Gospels don’t record it, but this is when the “Pieta” would have happened. In John’s Gospel, Jesus’ mother was near the cross when He died. I can picture her there when the body was taken down from the cross. Just for a moment she held the body of her son, and…
Words will not do to describe this moment. Michelangelo’s sculptured masterpiece says it best.
Jesus has a very small funeral.
I may sometimes wonder how I will die and what my funeral will be like. And most of all, what happens to me after I die?
Those aren’t morbid thoughts. They’re real thoughts, and especially appropriate for Good Friday. Bishop Ken Untener
My brother John was in Rome recently and when we spoke about his trip, one of the most moving moments was the time he spent gazing upon Michelangelo’s Pieta. One can only imagine the loss Mary felt holding her Son before placing him in the tomb. As you read and think about the Fourteenth station, John’s account of the Gospel mentions specifically the amount of spices that were brought to prepare Jesus’ body for burial…
Nicodemus brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about seventy-five pounds. Taking Jesus’ body, the two of them wrapped it, with the spices, in strips of linen. This was in accordance with Jewish burial customs.
Why so many spices? Msgr. Ramacciotti offered this thought last Sunday morning. That large amount would have been able to prepare thousand of bodies for burial, so in preparing Christ for his burial, enough of these spices were offered for our burial too. Another reflection on this was pulled from the web…
Some sources say that there were only seventy‑five pounds of myrrh and aloes used to prepare Jesus’ body for burial. Whether it was seventy‑five or one hundred pounds of myrrh and aloes, Nicodemus brought enough of these expensive embalming materials for use in a hundred or more common Jewish burials. Historical records show that the more respected an individual was, the larger the quantity of these costly materials used in the burial perpetration. Josephus records that forty pounds of spices were used at the funeral of the highly respected elder R. Gamaliel (Antiquities of the Jews, Book 17c.8, s.3).
Aside from a high degree of respect for Jesus, another plausible reason for using such a large amount of costly embalming materials may concern the fulfillment of the following prophecy about the body of the Messiah:
“For you will not leave my spirit in the grave; neither will you allow your Holy One to see decay” (Psa.16:10 Para.). See also Psa.49:9; Acts 2:27, 13:35. Bible Research
Today, take time for the following:
The Sorrowful Mysteries
Day 1 (of 9) of the Divine Mercy Novena:
Intention: Today bring to Me ALL MANKIND, ESPECIALLY ALL SINNERS, and immerse them in the ocean of My mercy. In this way you will console Me in the bitter grief into which the loss of souls plunges Me.
Novena Prayers: Most Merciful Jesus, whose very nature it is to have compassion on us and to forgive us, do not look upon our sins but upon our trust which we place in Your infinite goodness. Receive us all into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart, and never let us escape from It. We beg this of You by Your love which unites You to the Father and the Holy Spirit.
Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon all mankind and especially upon poor sinners, all enfolded in the Most Compassionate Heart of Jesus. For the sake of His sorrowful Passion show us Your mercy, that we may praise the omnipotence of Your mercy for ever and ever.
Jesus, remember me, as you come into your kingdom.
God’s will, not mine be done.
Be not afraid.
Jesus, I trust in You.