Now there was a good and righteous man named Joseph, who, though a member of the council, had not agreed to their plan and action. He came from the Jewish town of Arimathea, and he was waiting expectantly for the kingdom of God. This man went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Then he took it down, wrapped it in a linen cloth, and laid it in a rock-hewn tomb where no one had ever been laid. It was the day of Preparation, and the sabbath was beginning. The women who had come with him from Galilee followed, and they saw the tomb and how his body was laid. Then they returned, and prepared spices and ointments. On the sabbath they rested according to the commandment.
Waiting is hard. We may wait for a new job, for the pandemic to be finally over, to see loved ones in person not on a screen, for justice to finally come.
Today the Church waits just as “the women who had come with him from Galilee” had to wait to prepare Jesus’ body for a proper funeral. Their emotions must have been in turmoil as they longed to do the only thing they could do – anoint His body – yet at this point they couldn’t even do that.
Often we wait as there is nothing to do. We wait with those who mourn knowing that our words, our actions, our good intentions really aren’t what is needed, just our presence. We wait to find answers to life’s hardest questions but know that, this side of the grave at least, there aren’t any.
Yet waiting can be joyful – parents who await the arrival of a child, partners who await their wedding, the refugee finally granted the right to remain, the prisoner eventually freed.
We wait for tomorrow – of course we know what tomorrow brings but in our waiting we remember those who wait with uncertainty, hoping for joy but not knowing what to expect.
God of promise,
with you we wait, and with you we long.
In you we rest, and in you we trust.
Be with those who wait,
for better times,
for better lives,
and for a better world,
that joy, when it comes,
will banish the anxieties of waiting. Amen.