XV

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    The Stations of the Cross in Jerusalem - Reflection
    The 15th Station: HERE Jesus rises from the dead

    It is the first day of the week. The feast is over. It is Sunday and the sun is rising in the east illuminating with its warm light the fašade of the rock-cut tomb.

    From the city several women are walking in a hurry toward the Garden of Golgotha, carrying in their hands jars containing precious ointments. They are coming to anoint their beloved one!

    They are talking among themselves but seem preoccupied. They realized that they could not move the big boulder blocking the entrance to the tomb. Well, they might ask the soldiers to help them. That was a good idea if the soldiers were kind enough to do the job for them.

    As soon as they set foot into the Garden, they could not see anybody. There was nobody near the tomb.... and yes, the tomb was open. The stone blocking the entrance had been removed.

    They all ran. What happened? Who dared profane the tomb of their beloved one? Where were the soldiers?

    They ran towards the tomb. They could not believe their eyes. The tomb was empty. No words came out of their mouths. They were speechless!

    Then they were startled because they saw an angel sitting at the place where the body of Jesus had rested. He spoke to them. They were trembling.

    "Don't be alarmed," he said. "You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him" (Mk 16,6).

    They came out trembling and ran down again to tell the disciples. They were sceptical. They could not believe what the women were saying. This was nonsense!

    They were hysterical, that's why. They were having visions.... so Peter, John and Mary Magdalene ran back to the tomb. They all saw the empty tomb except for "the strips of linen lying there, as well as the burial cloth that had been around Jesus' head. The cloth was folded up by itself, separate from the linen" (John 20,6-7).

    Peter and John left but Mary wanted to stay behind. She stood by the empty tomb crying. As she cried her heart out she heard some movement next to her... she looked up "and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not realize that it was Jesus.

    "Woman," he said, "why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?" Thinking he was the gardener, she said, "Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will get him."

    Jesus said to her, "Mary." She turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic, "Rabbouni!" (which means Teacher).

    Jesus said, "Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet returned to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, `I am returning to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.'"

    Mary Magdalene went to the disciples with the news: "I have seen the Lord!" And she told them that he had said these things to her. (Jn 20,14-18)

    A Prayer

    Alleluia! How beautiful is the sound of this word at this spot! Alleluia, Christ is Risen!

    And my heart, dear Jesus, leaps with Joy. I can feel again your power and glory. "Where is death your power?"

    Yes, Lord Jesus, at this site you overcame the most dreadful enemy of life, the most brutal of moments and transformed it into a glorious event.

    The tomb saw your glory, witnessed the light of life, testified to your overwhelming power. No stone could hold you, no bandage tie you up. No guard could stand by your everlasting power as Son of the Father Almighty.

    From the tomb, dear Jesus, you made your Holy Cross the throne of your Glory. From the tomb you came back alive to fill us with the certainty that we too will participate in your glory as the redeemed ones not through the blood of goats or lambs but through the blood of the Son of Man.

    Alleluia, Lord, from the tomb you filled our hearts with hope. Make it so, Lord, that we always look at this tomb in the moments when we feel ourselves closed in the confined spaces of darkness.

    May the victory of your Resurrection spread its peace throughout the world. May it inspire the peoples living next to your "tomb of glory" to overcome the prejudices and hate and grow up in love and respect. Grant to the whole world the Joy of Your Victory. Alleluia!

    The Site


    The Aedicula of the Holy Sepulchre from where Jesus rose from the dead

    "Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed"
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    Another view of the Aedicula

    "And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the ages" (Mt 28,20).
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    Perspective view of the Aedicula

    "He said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well." (Mk 16,15-20)
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    Another view of the Aedicula

    "He said to them, "Why are you troubled, and why do doubts rise in your minds? Look at my hands and my feet. It is I myself! Touch me and see; a ghost does not have flesh and bones, as you see I have." When he had said this, he showed them his hands and feet." (Lk 24, 38-40)
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    The silver lamps of the Aedicula

    "He told them, "This is what is written: The Christ will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, and repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things" (Lk 24, 46-48).
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    The Resurrected Christ

    "But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name" (Jn 20,31)
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    Reflections and Prayers by John Abela ofm
    Descriptive text by John Abela, ofm and Michael Olteanu based on research by Albert Storm (SBF - Jerusalem)
    Hi-Res pictures prepared by Michael Olteanu
    Display pictures prepared by John Abela ofm

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