Joint Project Commissariat of the Holy Land in Canada and Antennes de paix à Montréal
Station 14: Jesus is laid in the tomb
“At the place where he had been crucified there was a garden, and in this garden a new tomb in which no one had yet been buried. Since it was the Jewish Day of Preparation and the tomb was near at hand, they laid Jesus there.” (Jn 19, 41-42)
Jesus is not denied a decent burial and the privilege of being remembered. But so many human beings are robbed of a final resting place and a modest place in history. So many unmarked graves! So many destinies have not left a trace! So many hurried burials, as if it was necessary to pile forgetfulness on top of death!
To be erased from the memory of those close to us and of the world in which we lived is to die twice. To remember all human beings and their life stories is a burden that a world pressed to move forward and to look the other way refuses to carry. Yet are not all persons deserving of a garden and a tomb? Are not all human beings worthy of a name and to a life’s story that needs telling?
In a pilgrimage to the Holy Sepulchre Benedict XVI declared: “Here Christ died and rose, never to die again… The empty tomb speaks to us of hope that does not disappoint because it is the gift of the Holy Spirit of life. (cf. Rm 5,5) This is the message that I wish to leave with you today, at the conclusion of my pilgrimage to the Holy Land. May hope arise ever anew, by God’s grace, in the heart of all the people dwelling in these lands! May it take root in your hearts, abide in your families and communities, and inspire each of you to become an ever more faithful witness to the Prince of Peace.”*
Let us pray:
O Immortal God, there where Jesus was laid to rest is planted the promise of Life. There also we lay down our aspirations; may your Spirit keep us open to Hope. Amen.
* Benedict XVI, Address at the Holy Sepulchre, May 15, 2009