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51. The Burial of Our Lord

1. Our Lord was buried for good reasons: (a) to establishbeyond all question the fact of his death; Pilate made very sure ofthe fact of death before permitting the body to be taken from thecross and buried; (b) to make possible the glorious Resurrectionfrom the grave, and thus to give hope and promise to mankind of theglory in store for those that do Christ's will; (c) to indicatethat we should be spiritually buried with our Lord, and hidden safeaway from the rule of sin.

2. The body of our Lord was wrapped in burial bands,embalmed with a hundredweight of spices, and laid in a new gravewhich was hewn out of a rock. The burial was a work of reverenceand love; it honored the sacred body, and was praiseworthy in allwho took part in it. Such a burial put beyond all question anythought that Christ might not be truly dead.

3. There was in the perfect body of Christ no weaknessthat could result in decomposition or putrefaction, even afterdeath. And scripture says (Psalm 15:10): "Nor wilt thou sufferthy holy one to see corruption." There was, therefore, nodissolution of parts, no crumbling into elements, of the body ofChrist in the tomb.

4. St. Augustine (De Trin. iv) says thatthirty-six hours elapsed from the evening of our Lord's burialto the dawn of the Ressurec-tion. The sacred body was in the tombone day and two nights. As each part of a day was reckoned aday according to prevailing Jewish usage, we say that ourLord's body was in the tomb for three days.

"Before a man chooses his confessor, he ought to think well about it, and pray about it also; but when he has once chosen, he ought not to change, except for most urgent reasons, but put the utmost confidence in his director."
St Philip Neri

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"The supreme perfection of man in this life is to be so united to God that all his soul with all its faculties and powers are so gathered into the Lord God that he becomes one spirit with him, and remembers nothing except God, is aware of and recognises nothing but God, but with all his desires unified by the joy of love, he rests contentedly in the enjoyment of his Maker alone."
St Albert the Great

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"The essence of perfection is to embrace the will of God in all things, prosperous or adverse. In prosperity, even sinners find it easy to unite themselves to the divine will; but it takes saints to unite themselves to God's will when things go wrong and are painful to self-love. Our conduct in such instances is the measure of our love of God."
St Alphonsus de Liguori

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