“After this Joseph of Arimathea, who was a disciple of Jesus, but secretly, for fear of the Jews, asked Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus, and Pilate gave him leave. So he came and took away his body. Nicodemus also, who had at first come to him by night, came bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about a hundred pounds’ weight. They took the body of Jesus, and bound it in linen cloths with the spices, as is the burial custom of the Jews. Now in the place where he was crucified there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb where no one had ever been laid. So because of the Jewish day of Preparation, as the tomb was close at hand, they laid Jesus there.” (Jn 19: 38-42)
Before our Lord’s death Joseph of Arimathea and Nikodemus, wealthy and respected members of their community, lacked the courage to follow Him or stand up for Him openly, governed by “fear of the Jews.” And now, when it’s “too late,” as it may seem, they express their love for Him in this small service. It’s too little and too late, one might think.But that is not how we remember these two holy men in the living memory of the Church. Because our God is a God Who accepts and remembers our services, which are always small and always imperfect. He calls us to do what we can and when we can, despite our human defects, like fear, indecision, and procrastination.
So this Friday let me take heart and be of small service to Him, to myself, and to others, however and whenever I can. For My Lord, it is never too small and never too late. Glory be to Him, Who was crucified for us under Pontius Pilate, and suffered, “and was buried,” by our imperfect-yet-loving hands.