Deacon Zak Barry, S ‘14
"Something strange is happening - there is a great silence on earth today, a great silence and stillness. The whole earth keeps silence because the King is asleep."
– text from Office of Readings for Holy Saturday
This truly is a strange day. Lent is over and Good Friday just behind us, but Easter isn’t here yet. For the day, we’re stuck in an in-between period.
But what was this like for the disciples? We’ve just reflected on the passion and death of our Lord – the events that took place leading up to His death and the details of His crucifixion. This is part of our faith, a practice into which we enter every year as a Church. The challenge for us is to live these days with a reflective spirit and a recollected heart. But over 2000 years ago, the challenge for the disciples was confusion and ignorance.
They did not know the whole story, because they were living it as it unfolded. Christ tried to prepare them, but they could not understand. They didn’t know what was happening, but even had they anticipated the resurrection, they would have been overcome. Their teacher and friend, with whom they had dined less than two days earlier had suffered a horrible death and wasn’t even given time for a proper burial. Worse yet, they had almost all abandoned Him at the hour of His greatest need, even denying their relation to Him.
Surely they were in shock. And perhaps we feel some of that same disorientation even today. We have spent several weeks of Lent preparing for these days, meditating on our lives and on God’s great mercy, striving to better answer Christ’s call to live as sons and daughters of the Kingdom of God. And if we have allowed our liturgical participation in these last few days to work in our heart and soul, entering into meditation on the last days of Christ’s life, today we may well feel spiritually drained.
What are we to do today, after the Lord’s death but before His resurrection? It is a day of silence. Today, we meditate on the gift we have been given in Christ and the profound effect His death had on all of creation. And of course, we look forward not only to celebrating His Easter resurrection but also to His second coming.
Lord Jesus Christ, help me to enter into the mystery of Your death and resurrection. Stir up in me Your Holy Spirit so that my participation in these holiest of days may bear fruit in my soul to eternal life. Amen.
Gn 1:1-2 or Gn 1: 1, 26-31a, Ps 104: 1-2, 5-6, 10, 12-14, 24, 35 or Ps 33:4-7, 12-13, 20, 22; Mat 28: 1-10