The tomb is the last stage of Christs dying through the whole course of his earthly life; it is the sign of his supreme sacrifice for us and for our salvation.
Very soon this tomb will become the first proclamation of praise and exaltation of the Son of God in the glory of the Father.
He was crucified, died and was buried,. . . on the third day he rose from the dead.
Once the lifeless body of Jesus is laid in the tomb, at the foot of Golgotha, the Church begins the vigil of Holy Saturday.
In the depths of her heart, Mary stores and ponders the Passion of her Son;
the women agree to meet on the morning of the day after the Sabbath, in order to anoint Christs body with aromatic ointments;
the disciples gather in the seclusion of the Upper Room, waiting for the Sabbath to pass.
This vigil will end with the meeting at the tomb, the empty tomb of the Saviour.
Then the tomb, the silent witness of the Resurrection, will speak.
The stone rolled back, the inner chamber empty, the cloths on the ground,
this will be what John sees when he comes to the tomb with Peter:
He saw and he believed (Jn 20:8).
And with him the Church believed,
and from that moment she never grows weary of communicating to the world this fundamental truth of her faith:
Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep (1 Cor 15:20).
The empty tomb is the sign of the definitive victory
of truth over falsehood,
of good over evil,
of mercy over sin,
of life over death.
The empty tomb is the sign of the hope which does not deceive (Rom 5:5).
[Our] hope is full of immortality (cf. Wis 3:4).
Lord Jesus Christ,
by the power of the Holy Spirit,
you were drawn by the Father
from the darkness of death
to the light of a new life in glory.
Grant that the sign of the empty tomb
may speak to us and to future generations
and become a wellspring of living faith,
and unshakeable hope.
To you, O Jesus, whose presence, hidden and victorious,
fills the history of the world,
be honour and glory for ever and ever.
Our Father . . .
While my body here decays,
may my soul your goodness praise,
safe in paradise with you. Amen.
The Holy Father addresses those present.
At the conclusion of his address the Holy Father imparts the Apostolic Blessing.
V/. The Lord be with you.
R/. And also with you.
V/. Blessed be the name of the Lord.
R/. Now and forever.
V/. Our help is in the name of the Lord.
R/. Who made heaven and earth.
V/. May Almighty God bless you,
the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit.