Holy Saturday is a day that really gets lost in all the other events surrounding Easter. There are no public ceremonies, there are no particular liturgies to give cause to the sense of waiting. The churches are dark, the pews are empty, the music ceases. As I think to what it must have been like on that very first Saturday after Jesus’ crucifixion, there is a sense of silence. There is a sense of loss. There is a sense of emptiness.
Everyone one of us who have walked the earth has known the silence of Holy Saturday. At some point in our lives we all become keenly aware of the power of overwhelming loss when life as we know it changes, when hope dies on a Good Friday. It is only then that we can understand the purpose of Holy Saturday.
The power of Holy Saturday is to bring us to a “mature” faith that is not about counting our blessings; instead it’s about dealing with darkness and growing in our hope of better things to come. Without Holy Saturdays in our lives none of us would really ever “grow up” spiritually. Today we come face to face with the question we try so hard to avoid the rest of our lives. “Have we been abandoned?”, “Are we left on our own in the world?”, “Why is this happening to me?”, “Is this all there is going to be?”
Hope is a slippery and often fleeting feeling. However it is the spiritual discipline that makes us certain of only one thing…in the end, whatever happens will be resolved only by doing the will of God, now matter how much we try to bend it and hammer it make it happen on our own. There is hope that on this Holy Saturday we can begin to see the world as God sees the world. Then loss becomes gain and in the silence we hear a very clear message from God.
“I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.“
May the silence and solemnness of this day prepare us for the wonder and joy of the day that lies ahead.