Holy Saturday 2022: A Great Silence on Earth
Today, igNation offers you the following three posts for your Holy Saturday prayer.
The Church was packed on Good Friday, so the elderly lady decided that she would make the Stations of the Cross – on Holy Saturday. The Our Lady of Lourdes Parish Church would be empty, except for those decorating the church for the Easter Vigil.
Taking her time, she slowly wound her way around the Stations along the aisles of the church. She then made her way to catch the bus #75. It was one that lowered its steps.
She very cautiously boarded the bus. The Driver was a kind and considerate man. Take your time, Grandmother. I am in no hurry. While still in considerable pain she fumbled in her large bag for money to pay her fare,. Do not worry, Grandmother. Just take your seat.
You see, she said, I just came from the Church making the Stations.
Pointing to her hands, I do not have nails here, but he had nails and I have peace in my heart
Pointing to her head, I do not have a crown of thorns there, but he had thorns and I have peace in my heart
Pointing to her side. I do not have a spear here, hut he had a spear and I have peace in my heart
The bus driver turned his head as his eyes were filled with tears. He waited till the elderly woman took her seat and then drove away very thoughtfully. Our world would be an awfully bleak place to live in without love. The elderly woman had experienced love – and unconsciously spread that experience.
Holy Thursday – and the mystery of our salvation continues as we say in the Creed: He descended into hell. There he encountered the just souls. There is a definite finality about Good Friday that we must face. It is a mystery we will enter each year. Sometimes we will face it like the Jews, for whom the Cross was a scandal. Sometimes we will face it like the Gentiles, for whom the Cross was an stumbling block.
We can do well on Holy Saturday to dwell on this awesome mystery rather than to try and keep busy in the same way as when we are in the doctor’s waiting room or in a queue at the bank on a busy day. There is the brutal and hard fact: God is dead. Jesus Christ has died on the cross. We cannot feel this loss in the same way as the Apostles did 2000 years ago. For them, it was a horrible wrench, as if a part of their very soul was taken away.
You and I know there is a Resurrection. For the Apostles there was only a hope, – a hope that was like a candle in the wind. The Disciples of Emmaus articulated their feelings in that pathetic phrase, “We had hoped.” There was no turning back the clock. They could not wave a wand and bring back their friend, Jesus.
Today many things remind us of the total injustice: “I see no fault in him, so I will scourge him. Many things remind us of total impotence: “It is better for one man to die.” Many things remind us of the need to balance the field: “My father would send a legion of angels.” We see this injustice, this impotence, the one-sidedness in Ukraine, in Yemen, in Afghanistan, among the Uighurs in China, in Myanmar, in Syria and so many African countries. Here the utter devastation felt on Holy Saturday is not felt for a day – but for decades.
It is important that we wait with the Apostles. The utter devastation of the loss on Good Friday will take some time to heal. The silence must be a fruitful and productive silence. You and I know the Alleluia of Easter, but there are thousands of fellow men, women and children who live in the continual darkness of Holy Saturday. They ask: When will we reach there?