Jesus’ body lies in a tomb hewn from rock; he is returned to the earth. It is the earth the birther of life, the earth into which he said the seed must fall to live again. All is silence. We reflect that nothing that exists is ever lost only transformed, that the remains of the old hold the life of the new, that matter and energy are interchangeable and, that in death, Jesus was received into God’s power of life.
May we live in fidelity and love.
Take time today if possible and reflect on the life and ultimate death of Jesus.
After this Joseph of Arimathea, a disciple of Jesus (but secretly, because he feared the Jewish authorities), asked Pilate if he could remove the body of Jesus. Pilate gave him permission, so he went and took away the body. Nicodemus, who had come to Jesus earlier at night, went with Joseph too, carrying a mixture of myrrh and aloes weighing seventy-five pounds. So they took Jesus’ body and wrapped it, with the aromatic spices, in strips of linen cloth according to Jewish burial customs. Now at the place where Jesus was crucified there was a garden, and in the garden was a new tomb where no one had yet been buried. So because it was the Jewish day of preparation and the tomb was nearby, they laid Jesus there.
Holy Saturday is the day of silence, lived by the first disciples in mourning and bewilderment, shocked by Jesus’ ignominious death. While the Word is silent, while Life is in the tomb, those who had hoped in him were put to a difficult test, they feel like orphans, perhaps even orphaned by God.
Holy Saturday acknowledges those struggling between post-traumatic defeat and pre-resurrection hope.
It’s in the mystery of Holy Saturday—between the despair of Good Friday and the hope of Easter Sunday—that we experience an accurate picture of reality: one that is broken but also beautiful; one that is sometimes marked by loneliness and loss but is also woven with love; one where there is darkness yet also divine discovery.
Most of our lives are spent in Holy Saturday. In other words, most of our days are not filled with the unbearable pain of a Good Friday. Nor are they suffused with the unbelievable joy of an Easter. Some days are indeed times of great pain and some are of great joy, but most are…in between.
James Martin, SJ
The primary source of the appeal of Christianity was Jesus – His incarnation, His life, His crucifixion, and His resurrection.
Kenneth Scott Latourette
Holy Saturday. The best reminder that the silence of God doesn’t equal the absence of God.
Lord, show us that love is stronger than hatred, that love is stronger than death. Descend into the darkness and the abyss of our modern age, and take by the hand those who await you. Bring them to the light!
Jesus is God spelling Godself out in language that we can understand.