FRIEDRICH OVERBECK (1789-1869)
WATER-COLOUR ON BOARD - Vatican Museum
Jesus is placed in the tomb
V/. We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you.
R/. Because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.
From the Gospel according to Luke 23:50-54
Now there was a man named Joseph,
a member of the council, a good and righteous man
who had not consented to their purpose and deed.
He was from the Jewish town of Arimathea,
and was looking for the kingdom of God.
This man went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus.
Then he took it down and wrapped it in a linen shroud
and laid him in a rock-hewn tomb,
where no one had ever yet been laid.
It was the day of Preparation and the Sabbath was beginning.
The first light of the sabbath.
He who was the light of the world descends into the realm of darkness.
The body of Jesus is swallowed up by the earth,
and with it all hope is swallowed up.
But his descent into the abode of death
is not for death but for life.
It is to reduce to powerlessness him who held the power of death, that is the devil (Heb 2:14)
to destroy the last enemy of man, death itself (1 Cor 15:26),
to bring life and immortality to light ( 2 Tim 1:10),
to preach the good news to the spirits in prison (1 Pet 3:19).
Jesus lowers himself and reaches the first human couple,
Adam and Eve, bowed under the burden of their guilt.
Jesus stretches out his hand to them,
and their faces light up with the glory of the resurrection.
The first Adam and the last are similar and recognize one another;
the first finds his likeness
in him who was to come one day
to free him together with all his other children (Gen 1:26).
That day has finally come.
Now in Jesus, every death, from that moment on, can flow into life.
Jesus, Lord rich in mercy,
you were made man so as to become our brother,
and by your death conquer death.
You descended into Hades so as to free mankind,
to make us live again with you,
we are risen and called to sit with you in the heavenly places ( cf. Eph 2:4-6)
Good Shepherd who leads us to restful waters,
take us in your hand when we cross the valley of darkness (ps 23:2-4),
so that we may stay with you and contemplate for ever your glory (Jn 17:24).
Wrapped in a shroud and placed in the tomb,
you await, after the stone has been rolled over,
for the silence of the night to be broken by the jubilee of an everlasting alleluia.
R/. To you be praise and glory for ever.
The Holy Father addresses those present.
At the end of his address the Holy Father imparts the Apostolic Blessing.
V/. Dominus vobiscum ...