“Joseph took the body, wrapped it in a clean linen shroud, and laid it in his own new tomb that he had hewn out of the rock. He then rolled an immense stone against the entrance of the tomb and departed.” (Matthew 27:59-60)
V. We adore you, O Christ, and we praise you:
R. Because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.
Meditation: Watching and waiting
At the last few stations, we stood in spirit at the foot of the cross; now we visit the tomb in which Christ was buried. The faithful few who had remained with Christ to the end prepared him for burial. At his birth, the Virgin had “wrapped him in swaddling clothes and laid him in a manger.” (Luke 2:7) At his death, he was wrapped in a linen shroud and laid in a tomb.
This was the tomb of St Joseph of Arimathaea, which was in a garden near the cross. St Joseph sealed the tomb with a heavy stone across the entrance – and then left. However, St Mary Magdalene stayed behind, sitting opposite the grave. (Matthew 27:61) At this station, we can also share in her watching and waiting.
When we are suffering or grieving, the hardest part can be not knowing – as in her case – if or when things will improve. With the Psalmist we might pray: “How long must I suffer anguish in my soul and sorrow in my heart day and night?” (Psalm 13:2) The only solution is to wait for God’s timing. As St Paul encourages us: “Be patient in times of affliction.” (Romans 12:12)
O Jesus, halting here at your tomb, I wait for you with St Mary Magdalene. Whenever I suffer loss or hardship, grant me the grace to wait in silence for your salvation. (Lamentations 3:26) Teach me to die with you in this life that I may live with you in the next.
Sign from the Old Testament
The Prophet Daniel was sealed in the lion’s den, since a stone was placed over the entrance. Like Christ, he miraculously emerged alive. (Daniel 6:1-25)
See the full image:
Ken Thompson / Fourteenth Station of the Cross / Stone sculpture / 2000 / Our Most Holy Redeemer and St Thomas More, Chelsea