Imitation of Christ – Book 4, Ch.12-15, pt.2

Tonight we are continuing our meditations on the Holy Eucharist through Book Four of Thomas a Kempis’ The Imitation of Christ. One of the themes throughout Book Four is our preparation and reception of the body of Christ.  In my readings this week, I came across a Commentary on the Gospel of St. Mark by a Theophylact of Ohrid (c.1050-c.1107).  In this commentary, Theophylact compares Joseph of Arimathea’s request for and burial of the body of Jesus in Mark 15:42-47 to our reception of the Eucharistic elements (pp.138-39). Theopylact writes:

Let us be like Joseph, always increasing in virtue, and taking hold of that which is truly good.  And let us also take the Body of Jesus, through Holy Communion, and place It in a tomb hewn out of a rock, that is, place It within a soul which always remembers God and does not forget Him. (The Greek word for “tomb” is mnimeion which derived from the word for memory.) And let that soul be hewn from a rock, that is, from Christ Who is the Rock on which we are established. And let us wrap the Body of Jesus in the linen, that is, let us receive It within a pure body. For the body is the linen and, as it were, the garment of the soul. For we must receive the divine Body of the Lord not only with a pure soul, but with a pure body as well. And we must wrap It and enfold It with ourselves.

Therefore, as you prepare for tonight, contemplate how we are like Joseph and women at the tomb when we receive Holy Communion. Think through the care and the preparation they showed.

SCHEDULE: On May 23 we will begin our summer study of Paul with his Epistle to the Romans. All you need is a Bible (If you don’t have one, one will be provided for you.) If you are so inclined, please find a commentary on Romans. Just pick your favorite Christian writer, either ancient or modern, and I’m certain they have written a commentary on Romans.  And if you haven’t joined us in a while, please consider coming back. We are a little more relaxed in the summer, and because we are simply reading through the Epistle itself, you can skip a few weeks and not be left out. 

Dinner is at 6. Menu is Italian wedding soup and cheesy bread. Meditation at 6:45. Compline at 8. Hope to see you here.

And when evening had come, since it was the day of Preparation, that is, the day before the Sabbath, Joseph of Arimathea, a respected member of the council, who was also himself looking for the kingdom of God, took courage and went to Pilate, and asked for the body of Jesus.

Mark 15:42-43

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