Sunday, April 22, 2018

TOMB REFLECTION - "A BIBLICAL PHANTASY" BY SISTER CLARA SCHROEDER, CSJP

How can I be with you, Jesus, now that your pain and suffering are over?  I was able to be with you in the Garden and on your way to Calvary and then stand with your Mother at the foot of your cross.  But how can I be with you in your tomb?  
As I contemplate this, I hear Jesus say to me,  “Clara, (use your name) You can be with me in my tomb.  Just walk in and allow me to do the rest!”

With trust, I timidly enter the tomb and I huddle in a dark corner. I am not afraid!  

I can see Jesus lying on the slab.  His linens are removed!  In spite of his torn body, he seems to be restful and I don’t understand that.  

Amazed, I see his earthly father, St. Joseph hovering over Jesus.   He is gently wiping his bloodstained face.  And I also see Michael, the archangel, along with Angel Gabriel!  They, along with Joseph, are bathing his wounds with such tenderness.  
Then I see Jesus slowly opening his eyes.  His eyes meet Joseph’s tear-filled eyes.  I hear a weak whisper from Jesus. “Dad.”  Joseph has your head in his arms.  

“Jesus, my dear boy,” spoken so softly. “I am so proud of you.  You have fulfilled your Mother’s destiny and mine of raising you, caring for you, and protecting you for this moment. So long ago, I held your tiny body in my arms.  I, again, hold you in my arms with deep, deep gratitude to you for what you suffered.” 

 All of us in heaven were beyond grief at what we witnessed on earth.  Your Father sobbed almost uncontrollably.  His grief was mixed with rage at the injustice that was heaped upon you.  At one point he wanted to end it all and snatch you up.  But all of Heaven’s residents, from North, East, South and West, were kneeling with  their heads bent down.  In unison, all chanted “No, No, No.”  Father God’s sad eyes looked at all of us and all of us looked up to Father God.  He knew and we knew that all the horribleness you endured was the only way, the only way to conquer evil.”  

There was a reverend silence now from the four people in the tomb with Jesus - Joseph, Michael, Gabriel and me.  I am still huddled in the dark corner of the tomb.
All I am able to do is to stay huddled in the corner and gaze upon Jesus. I can’t move.  I’m so overwhelmed with what I am witnessing. Then I hear Jesus speak softly.
            
“Dad, when I was hanging on the cross, at one point I really felt that my Father in heaven had deserted me.  Is He pleased with me?”  “Jesus,” Joseph responds so softly,  

“How can Father God not be pleased with your total sacrifice of love?”  “He’s not here with me now,” Jesus responds. At these words from Jesus, Michael and Gabriel bow in adoration while Joseph says; “Your Father in heaven is right now preparing the grandest, and most eloquent royal banquet for you upon your return!”
“Jesus, my boy, I have a message for you from Father God”  “Your Father wants you to remain here on earth for another forty days. You need to be with your friends now even though most of them had deserted you. They were and are still so frightened at what happened to you. They are afraid of their lives. And you sorrowing Mother needs to see you. Your mission on earth will not be completed until you reassure them that you are risen, and console them, instruct them, and empower them to continue what you began.   

For the first time, I notice a smile on Joseph’s face. “Will you do that, my precious, precious boy?  We all know how eager you are to come home.”  Then I saw that irresistible magnetic smile on Jesus as he responds, “Of course,  Dad.” 

 As the three of them slowly depart, Joseph once again turns to Jesus, and with a twinkle in his eye, says, “Say hello to your mother for me.”

I am still huddled in the dark corner mesmerized by what I witnessed and heard. Then I heard Jesus say, “Clara, don’t remain in the dark.  Leave now. Go out into the Sunlight.  Tell all you meet what you have witnessed and heard here in my tomb.  My birth and crucifixion would have been meaningless without my Resurrection.  Be my voice, my hands and my feet.  Let all who see you, see me.  

Now I am no longer huddled in the dark corner of the tomb.  I am racing through the vineyards to be with Jesus’s friends.  Jesus empowered me too to continue His work on earth.  And Jesus empowered ALL OF YOU to continue what he began!  Tell ALL who believe in Jesus to be His voice, be His hands, be His feet! 

De  Colores!