Skip to main content


Simon and Joseph

3/2/2004 - 11:00 AM PST

Advertisment

by Fr. Robert J. Carr

You caught me!! Yes, in my haste to write my review of “The Passion” I mixed up Joseph of Arimathea and Simon the Cyrene. It was indeed, Simon who carried the Cross and Joseph who offered the tomb.

Strangely, one of my favorite Easter jokes involves Joseph just because he owned the tomb. You may have heard it.

The family of Joseph of Arimathea was extremely angry with him that he gave Jesus the tomb for his burial. They complained that tombs are expensive and now they had to buy another tomb. Joseph, however, comforted them. “Don’t worry.” He said. “He only needs it for the weekend!”

I think the incident also leads to a reflection on the difference between Simon and Joseph. When we think of Simon we think of the man who carried the cross. He is the man we can identify with at Lent. We seek Christ, we live Christ and we adore Christ. Lent is when we with Christ carry our crosses in service to him.

Joseph reminds us of where we are going. We are walking to a used but empty tomb. Joseph is the Easter vision of our ultimate focus of the joy beyond all joys, the truth beyond all truths in the kingdom beyond all kingdoms.

We can identify at times with one and at times with the other. However, we need to be careful not to identify with one without being mindful of the other.

Paul gives us a similar warning. We never talk about the cross without the resurrection. Equally we never talk about the resurrection without the cross.

Jesus died and rose. Socrates died, he has never risen. If we think of Jesus in terms of Simon without Joseph we think of a philosopher who had many wise sayings but who’s time has passed.

If we think of Jesus in terms of Joseph without Simon, we focus on an easily reached Heaven for which Earth is nothing more than the bus station.

It is when we see Jesus in terms of Simon and Joseph that we see the cross and the glory, the pilgrimage and the destination, the present striving for truth and the future joy of living in truth.

Simon and Joseph both had a part in Jesus death and resurrection. We cannot ignore them and we do not want to get them mixed up.

The parent for example can find the difficulties of raising a teenager overwhelming and not focus on the fruit of a grown adult with a loving family.

The policeman can find the difficulties of arresting a drug dealer painful enough that he does not see his work as the first step to a change of life in the grace of God’s discipline.

The courageous Catholics may find the difficulties of living the faith strong enough not to see those people who’s lives who have changed because of their strong example.

We are a resurrection people who believe in the cross. We are never one without the other.

Simon and Joseph both played a part in Jesus’ death and resurrection. I am happy to see how many know that Simon carried the cross and Joseph supplied the tomb. Thanks for the e-mails.

Contact

Catholicism Anew
http://www.catholicismanew.org  MA, US
Fr. Robert J. Carr - parochial vicar, 617 542-5682

Email

frbobcarr@catholicismanew.org

Keywords

The Passion, Way of the Cross

Rate This Article

Very Helpful Somewhat Helpful Not Helpful at All

Yes, I am Interested No, I am not Interested

Rate Article

0 Comments

Leave a Comment

Comments submitted must be civil, remain on-topic and not violate any laws including copyright. We reserve the right to delete any comments which are abusive, inappropriate or not constructive to the discussion.

Though we invite robust discussion, we reserve the right to not publish any comment which denigrates the human person, undermines marriage and the family, or advocates for positions which openly oppose the teaching of the Catholic Church.

This is a supervised forum and the Editors of Catholic Online retain the right to direct it.

We also reserve the right to block any commenter for repeated violations. Your email address is required to post, but it will not be published on the site.

We ask that you NOT post your comment more than once. Catholic Online is growing and our ability to review all comments sometimes results in a delay in their publication.

Send me important information from Catholic Online and it's partners. See Sample

Post Comment


Newsletter Sign Up

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Isaiah 7:10-14
Yahweh spoke to Ahaz again and said: Ask Yahweh your God for a ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 24:1-2, 3-4, 5-6
[Psalm Of David] To Yahweh belong the earth and all it ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 1:26-38
In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town ... Read More

Saint of the Day

December 20 Saint of the Day

St. Dominic of Silos
December 20: Benedictine abbot and defender of the faith. Born in Canas, ... Read More