After all this, Joseph of Arimathea (he was a disciple of Jesus, but secretly, because he was intimidated by the Jews) petitioned Pilate to take the body of Jesus. Pilate gave permission. So Joseph came and took the body.
Nicodemus, who had first come to Jesus at night, came now in broad daylight carrying a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about seventy-five pounds. They took Jesus' body and, following the Jewish burial custom, wrapped it in linen with the spices. There was a garden near the place he was crucified, and in the garden a new tomb in which no one had yet been placed. So, because it was Sabbath preparation for the Jews and the tomb was convenient, they placed Jesus in it.
Drink deep of the chalice of grief and sorrow,
held out to you by your dark angel of Gethsemane:
the angel is not your enemy,
the drink, though sharp, is nourishing,
by which you may come to a deeper peace
than if you pass it by,
a ‘health of opened heart’ …
From a slow accepting of our wounds, life within us begins to move outward, bitterness waning, compassion growing …
True prayer is the source, the prayer that comes not from the mouth, but as from the lips of wounds …
Hidden in that prayer is both the crucified Christ and our fellow-sufferers, those whom, in intercession and compassion, we need in order to be ourselves.
There is no higher aim
than to reclaim
another, blinded by life’s pain,
to help him see again.
Seek love in the pity of another’s woe,
In the gentle relief of another’s care,
In the darkness of night and the winter’s snow,
In the naked and outcast — seek love there.
O Jesus, stretch forth your wounded hands over your people to heal and to restore, and to draw us to yourself and to one another in love. Amen.