We post a Forward Day by Day Meditation for every day of the year - and we invite you to consider them and talk about them here. If you'd like to comment, please register for an account at Facebook. By checking the "Post to Facebook" box when commenting, you'll be able to find and quickly link back to this page from your Facebook account. You can also find the past week's Meditations in the box at right (or below, for mobile users), or search for previous entries on the Archives page.
Matthew 27:57. When it was evening, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph.
Notice the manner in which the story that unfolds after Jesus’ death switches from the wealthy Joseph to the marginalized women, “Mary Magdalene and the other Mary.” After bravely stepping forward to claim Jesus’ body and having it placed in “his own new tomb,” Joseph disappears from the gospel narrative. The gospels allow Joseph to play his part and then exit the stage, never to be heard from again. Matthew says Joseph was a disciple of Jesus. He obviously has the wealth to own a tomb and the power to approach the Roman governor. But the next phase of the story belongs to the women, who apparently do not know Joseph well enough to even come near while Jesus is entombed. Were rich and powerful disciples distinguished from poor ones?
There is no way to answer the question except to note that all of them, rich and poor, male and female, powerful and passive, had a role to play. What would Easter be if Joseph had not provided the tomb, or if the women had not spied its location and come with spices? What might your role be in the ongoing Easter story?
Today the Church remembers Ignatius of Loyola, Priest and Monastic, 1556.