The Burial Shroud of Jesus: A Place to Encounter Christ

Painted icon of Jesus Christ

Jesus said: “Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” Matthew 11: 28-30

All who come to view the Shroud of Turin have their own life story. Some are broken, some are confused, some are professed unbelievers, some need to have their faith affirmed, some are seeking to follow the Lord more closely.

As you meditate upon the image on the Shroud, recall the words of the prophet Isaiah (53:5):

But he was pierced for our transgressions,
he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was upon him,
and by his wounds we are healed.

God’s tremendous love for us is shown through the passion of Jesus which is very graphically illustrated for us on the Shroud. Enter into the silence of your heart. Lay aside all cares of daily life and recognize that God seeks you out to tell you that you are loved. Be still and know that God is present. Let your hearts be moved by the immensity of Jesus’ love for us, as is plainly made visible on the cloth before you. Pray for guidance and healing, peace, hope and consolation. Whether this is your first time to encounter the Lord Jesus, or your hundredth time, let your heart praise him, worship him and rejoice in him.

As you recall the Passion, Death and Resurrection of our Lord, take time to be with some of those who ministered to him: his mother Mary, Joseph of Arimathea and Mary Magdalene.

Mary, the Mother of God, kissed the lifeless Body of Christ, poured out her painful tears that washed his Body, and kept these things treasured in her heart. Despite the experiences of loneliness, emptiness and even hopelessness I have in my life, am I able to see that I am not alone, that the Lord is with me?

Joseph of Arimathea found the courage to approach Pontius Pilate for the Body of Christ and to bury the Body in his own tomb. How am I like Joseph with the members of the Body of Christ, especially those brothers and sisters in Christ who are disadvantaged? Am I able to serve them?

Mary Magdalene and the other women went with love and devotion early in the morning to anoint the Body of Christ.

How am I being called to surrender my life more completely to the Lord and serve others?

How am I able to tell others of the joy of the Resurrection in my life?

Will I receive his love? Will I serve him? Will I serve others?