4.15.2017

Holy Saturday

Holy Saturday has always been a day where I've 'felt' the emptiness of Jesus' crucifixion and death. Yes, Good Friday, knowing that no Mass is celebrated and the tabernacles are empty while marking the Passion and the Death of Our Lord with the Veneration of the Cross, carries it's weight. But, it is Holy Saturday - the day when Christ lies in the grave. There is no intensity of the walk to Calvary and the crucifixion. Just the quiet knowledge that for one day The Son was dead.

Today, two pieces spoke to this feeling of emptiness I feel every year. The first, a piece of prose in the Holy Week Magnificat and the second, a poem shared on Facebook.

As we near sundown of this Holy Saturday, my prayer for you is that you always remember in our darkest, loneliest times, Christ is with us. He has descended to the dead, and He is with us. Always.
Holy Saturday is the day of the 'death of God', the day which expresses the unparalleled experience of our age, anticipating the fact that God is simply absent, that the grave hides him, that he no longer awakes, no longer speaks, so that one no longer needs to gainsay him but can simply overlook him... Christ strode through the gate of our final loneliness; in his Passion he went down into the abyss of our abandonment. Where no voice can reach us any longer, there is He. Hell is thereby overcome, or to be more accurate, death, which was previously hell, is hell no longer. Neither is the same any longer because there is life in the midst of death, because love dwells in it. ~Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI
Limbo
by Sister Mary Ada, OSJ
The ancient grayness shifted
Suddenly and thinned
Like mist upon the moors
Before a wind.
An old, old prophet lifted
A shining face and said:
“He will be coming soon.
The Son of God is dead;
He died this afternoon.”

A murmurous excitement stirred
All souls.
They wondered if they dreamed –
Save one old man who seemed
Not even to have heard.

And Moses, standing,
Hushed them all to ask
If any had a welcome song prepared.
If not, would David take the task?
And if they cared
Could not the three young children sing
The Benedicite, the canticle of praise
They made when God kept them from perishing
In the fiery blaze?
A breath of spring surprised them,
Stilling Moses’ words.
No one could speak, remembering
The first fresh flowers,
The little singing birds.
Still others thought of fields new ploughed
Or apple trees
All blossom-boughed.
Or some, the way a dried bed fills
With water
Laughing down green hills.
The fisherfolk dreamed of the foam
On bright blue seas.
The one old man who had not stirred
Remembered home.

And there He was
Splendid as the morning sun and fair
As only God is fair.
And they, confused with joy,
Knelt to adore
Seeing that He wore
Five crimson stars
He never had before.

No canticle at all was sung
None toned a psalm, or raised a greeting song,
A silent man alone
Of all that throng
Found tongue –
Not any other.
Close to His heart
When the embrace was done,
Old Joseph said,
“How is Your Mother,
How is Your Mother, Son?”

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