Our Passover Lamb lies in the grave.
The stone rolls over the entrance and settles with a hollow thunk. The seal is placed over it and the guards take up their watch.
Inside the tomb, Jesus’ body lies broken, dirty and cold in the silent nothingness of death. Blood congeals on the corpse’ forehead, back, wrists, ankles and chest. The limbs stiffen and this dead thing that once was a man becomes a figment of a living person. It is matter now, with no life inside it; a hard, silent piece of dead meat. Decomposition and rot begin.
This is death; raw, unyielding, and seemingly forever. It is the end of every living thing.
Death brings our dreams and accomplishments to dust. It puts a period at the end of our adventures and hopes and tosses them on the waste bin of what doesn’t matter any more. Death conquers all.
Or so it seems.
I am the Way. Jesus told his disciples. I am the Way, the Truth and the Life.
Today, humanity’s Passover Lamb lies in the grave. The perfect and complete sacrifice, the true lamb without blemish, has shed His blood for us. His shed blood is the blood of the lamb on the lintel posts of the doors to our lives.
If we wear the blood of the Passover Lamb, the angel of unending death will pass us by. If we are not marked with the blood of the Lamb, the angel of death will mow us down with his eternal scythe.
Jesus lies in the tomb today. In our place.
On this second day of the Divine Mercy Novena, He asks us to “bring me the souls of priests and religious.”
No matter when Jesus comes again, we are all in the last days of our own lives. In these last days of our lives, when, as Yeats said, “the center does not hold,” we need leadership from our priests and religious.
“Without vision, the people perish,” the Bible says. Fearful functionaries and self-congratulators cannot lead us in these times. Our priests and religious need the Divine Mercy of Our Lord.
As do we all.
Please take time to pray the Divine Mercy Novena with us. Pray that God will send us holy priests and religious.
“Today bring to Me the Souls of Priests and Religious,
and immerse them in My unfathomable mercy. It was they who gave me strength to endure My bitter Passion. Through them as through channels My mercy flows out upon mankind.”
Most Merciful Jesus, from whom comes all that is good, increase Your grace in men and women consecrated to Your service,* that they may perform worthy works of mercy; and that all who see them may glorify the Father of Mercy who is in heaven.
Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon the company of chosen ones in Your vineyard — upon the souls of priests and religious; and endow them with the strength of Your blessing. For the love of the Heart of Your Son in which they are enfolded, impart to them Your power and light, that they may be able to guide others in the way of salvation and with one voice sing praise to Your boundless mercy for ages without end. Amen.
* In the original text, Saint Faustina uses the pronoun “us” since she was offering this prayer as a consecrated religious sister. The wording adapted here is intended to make the prayer suitable for universal use.