Burying the dead is one of the Corporal Works of Mercy, taught to us by Jesus as a model of how we should treat one another. Jesus’ friends cared for his body and, in turn, honored his teachings. Their actions provided a sense of dignity and honor to the dead Messiah after others sought to discredit and ridicule him.
We are called to perform these same Corporal Works of Mercy: feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, shelter the homeless, visit the sick, visit the imprisoned, bury the dead, and give alms to the poor. Can the person who does not believe in Jesus do these things? Absolutely! The question is what difference it makes that you are disciples of Jesus Christ.
The story did not end with Jesus being laid in the tomb. Even though the image of the cross is important to our faith, it does not completely define us or tell the whole story. Jesus is alive! We are an Easter people! Our stewardship must never be seen as simple actions of charity between humans, but statements of who we are and why we do what we do. We must give evidence of our transformation. This can make all of the difference.
Lord Jesus Christ,
they laid you in the tomb
but I know what happened in just three days.
By your resurrection, you set us free from death
and gave us new life.
May my stewardship serve as evidence
of the grace you promised me in my baptism,
when I died and rose with you.
Make dinner for a neighbor who just had surgery, a local family with a new baby, or any person in need.