"In the place where He was crucified there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb in which no one had ever been buried." —John 19:41
Today the Church identifies with the buried Jesus. The Eucharist is not celebrated during the day, nor is it reserved in the tabernacle. Today reminds us that we really die when we follow Jesus to the cross. Today is a reminder of the cost of the cross. When my daily cross gets too heavy for me and I'm tempted to run away from following Jesus, it helps me to reflect on the Calvary garden (Jn 19:41) where Jesus was buried:
- If I get rid of my daily cross, I won't make it to Calvary. I'll never realize that Calvary isn't just a place of agony, but in that garden is also a place of refreshment (Jn 19:41). So I don't want to miss out on Calvary's garden, just like Adam and Eve turned their backs on God, and lost their intimate place in the garden with God (Gn 3:23).
- If I keep carrying my cross all the way to Calvary, I'll see the garden and get to rest in it beside Jesus' tomb. Like Mary Magdalene, I will stay at Calvary beside His tomb until I see the Gardener, the risen Jesus (Jn 20:15).
- The Calvary garden is the fulfillment of the garden of Eden. In Eden, man and woman had perfect intimacy with God, and everything was provided. In Jesus, everything surpasses all that Eden was ever intended to be. If we can make it through Calvary day after day with our daily cross, there's joy, intimacy with God, and refreshment that those who avoid Calvary miss out on.
Die to yourself. Take up your daily cross (Lk 9:23). Follow in Jesus' footsteps to Calvary. Be buried with Jesus (Rm 6:3-4).
Prayer: Jesus, I believe that in You, death is never the final word. Release me from any slavery to the fear of death (Heb 2:15).
Reference: (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)
Rescript: †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, October 3, 2008
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