Friday, April 10, 2009
Brothers and sisters: Are you unaware that we who were baptized into
Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were indeed buried with
him through baptism into death, so that, just as Christ was raised
from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might live in newness
of life. For if we have grown into union with him through a death like
his, we shall also be united with him in the resurrection. We know
that our old self was crucified with him, so that our sinful body
might be done away with, that we might no longer be in slavery to sin.
For a dead person has been absolved from sin. If, then, we have died
with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him. We know that
Christ, raised from the dead, dies no more; death no longer has power
over him. As to his death, he died to sin once and for all; as to his
life, he lives for God. Consequently, you too must think of yourselves
as being dead to sin and living for God in Christ Jesus.
When the sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, Mary, the mother of James,
and Salome bought spices so that they might go and anoint him. Very
early when the sun had risen, on the first day of the week, they came
to the tomb. They were saying to one another, "Who will roll back the
stone for us from the entrance to the tomb?" When they looked up, they
saw that the stone had been rolled back; it was very large. On
entering the tomb they saw a young man sitting on the right side,
clothed in a white robe, and they were utterly amazed. He said to
them, "Do not be amazed! You seek Jesus of Nazareth, the crucified. He
has been raised; he is not here. Behold the place where they laid him.
But go and tell his disciples and Peter, 'He is going before you to
Galilee; there you will see him, as he told you.'"
It was important for the Jews that Jesus and the two thieves be buried
before sunset. Bodies hanging on crosses would defile the great Feast
of the Passover, which was to begin that evening. In order to hasten
death the Jewish leaders requested of Pilate that the legs of the
three crucified men be broken. The soldiers detailed to do this broke
the legs of the two thieves but when they found that Jesus had already
died, one of them, to make sure, pierced his side with a lance. Blood
and other body fluids flowed from the wound. Jesus was dead.
Executed criminals were buried in common graves. In Jesus' case,
however, Joseph of Arimathea, a member of the Sanhedrin, requested his
body from Pilate. Joseph had been a disciple of Jesus, but in secret,
because he feared what the reaction would be of the rest of the
Sanhedrin. Now, quite openly, he laid Jesus' body in a new tomb in
which no one else had been laid, close to the place where Jesus died.
Nicodemus, another secret disciple of Jesus, who was also a member of
the Sanhedrin, brought to the tomb about a hundred pounds of myrrh and
aloes. Jesus' body was wrapped in linen cloths along with these
spices, as was the custom among the Jewish people.
Jesus once said to his disciples and to the crowd that was listening
to him, "when I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw everyone to
myself." The power of the cross was exerting its influence already,
drawing people to Jesus. These two authority figures, Joseph and
Nicodemus, believed in Jesus, but kept their belief secret for fear of
being mocked by their peers. They did not want to be deprived of the
respect and the power their positions afforded them. Having witnessed
Jesus' dedication to the truth and his willingness to die for the
truth, they were drawn to make public their own belief in Jesus and
their commitment to the truth that was Jesus.
Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus are models for us. We, too, are
disciples of Jesus. But are there occasions when we would prefer to
hide the fact of discipleship? We might be among people who are not
disciples and who look condescendingly on the very idea of
discipleship, particularly of Christian discipleship. Joseph of
Arimathea and Nicodemus are models for us. Perhaps what we need is,
like Joseph and Nicodemus, to contemplate Jesus crucified, that we may
also be drawn publicly to him.
We pray …
… for a deep and profound respect for life, especially for the
… for the healing and strength of:
- Sophia Gonzalez
- Ester Marcelo
- Christy Chin
… for the speedy recovery of:
- Cora C.
… for the safety of Johnson Cuiting
… for all the prayer intentions in the MTQ Dailyprayer Diary.
- Birthday: Arlene P. Francisco
- Birthday: Mauro Andreas Datu III
- Birthday: Paz Radaza
- Birthday: Benedicto de Jesus
- In Memoriam (+): Msgr. Paul Lu, P.I.M.E.
… for the healing and peace of all families
Finally, we pray for one another, for those who have asked our prayers
and for those who need our prayers the most.
Have a good day!
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