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Lenten Aquinas 17 | Feast of the Holy Winding Sheet

Lenten Aquinas 17 | Feast of the Holy Winding Sheet


Second Friday of Lent
FEAST OF THE HOLY WINDING SHEET Joseph taking the body, wrapped it up in a
clean linen cloth and laid it in his own new monument. 1. By this clean linen cloth three things are
signified in a hidden way, namely: (i) The pure body of Christ. For the cloth was made of linen which by much
pressing is made white and in like manner it was after much pressure that the body of
Christ came to the brightness of the resurrection. Thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise
again from the dead the third day. (ii) The Church, which without spot or wrinkle,
is signified by this linen woven out of many threads. (iii) A clear conscience, where Christ reposes. 2. And laid him in his own new monument. It was Joseph’s own grave and certainly
it was somehow appropriate that He who had died for the sins of others should be buried
in another man’s grave. Notice that it was a new grave. Had other bodies already been laid in it,
there might have been a doubt which had arisen. There is another fitness in this circumstance,
namely that He who was buried in this new grave, was He who was born of a virgin mother. As Mary’s womb knew no child before him
nor after him, so was it with this grave. Again we may understand that it is in a soul
renewed that Christ is buried by faith, that Christ may dwell by faith in our hearts. St. John’s Gospel adds, Now there was in
the place where he was crucified– a garden; and in the garden a new sepulchre. Which recalls to us that as Christ was taken
in a garden and suffered His agony in a garden, so in a garden was He buried, and thereby
we are reminded that it was from the sin committed by Adam in the garden of delightfulness that,
by the power of His Passion, Christ set us free, and also that through the Passion the
Church was consecrated, the Church which again is as a garden closed.

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