Wednesday, 19 March 2008

The Fourteenth Station, The Body of Jesus is Placed in the Tomb.

It is Friday night and the remaining disciples take the body of Jesus to the tomb which Joseph of Arimathaea has prepared for him. There have to be guards on the tomb, of course, in case the disciples take His body out and say that He is risen. There would have been silence and a grim determination to see the task through, a spark of hope maybe, but only a spark, the dead weight of the body would have put paid to most of the hope. The white shroud which he is now wrapped in, becomes the final allegory for our Church. A blood soaked sheet, laid in the tomb to become dirty and stained, which in fact, unbeknownst to the disciples, becomes the sheet of victory. This stained sheet is what we must see through to see Our Lord clearly. Faith is the key to sight and through faith, faith in this rag, in this dead body, in the humanity of these men and women with a dead body at the end of the world, faith in this gives us the sure and certain hope of His, and our, resurrection. Faith in Holy week, even when it is oddly early and seems sometimes repetitive, gives us the strength we need to keep walking our journey of faith and hopefully, our hearts too might burn within us as we hear Him talking to us on the road.
Just one last question at the end of our long Lenten journey around the stations with Christ. What happens tomorrow? Do the disciples go to synagogue as they have done every saturday of their lives, even with Jesus? If they do go, what do they think? For what do they pray? Do they still believe in their ancient faith, or do their hearts burn within them even as the scrolls are read because they know that they have seen this become real, seen the incarnation? Or do they just go and hide because their faith has taken a blow? The daily round of worship can seem hard when our faith takes a blow, so it is good for our souls to reflect on what these people did all that time ago. One thing that the stations of the cross teach us, I think, is that we are all pretty much alike, in the end.
V. It behoveth us to glory in the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ.
R. In whom is our salvation, life and resurrection.
Let us pray,
O God who for our sakes didst will that thy Son should suffer upon the gibbet of the Cross, that thou mightest drive far from us the power of the enemy, grant to us, thy servants; that we may attain unto the grace of His Resurrection: Through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.
Of your Charity, pray for the soul of Jean Ellis and may her soul, and the souls of all the faithful departed, through the love and mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.