By Fr RC Jazmin SVD
(Surface of what is believed to be Jesus’s tomb uncovered in Jerusalem, credit to https://irishtimes.com)
Today, there is a great silence. The Savior has died. He rests in the tomb. Many hearts were filled with uncontrollable grief and confusion. Was He really gone? Had all their hopes been shattered? These and many other thoughts of despair filled the minds and hearts of so many who loved and followed Jesus.
It is on this day that we honor the fact that Jesus was still preaching. He descended to the land of the dead, to all the holy souls who had gone before Him, so as to bring them His gift of salvation. He brought His gift of mercy and redemption to Moses, Abraham, the prophets and so many others. This was a day of great joy for them. But a day of great sorrow and confusion for those who watched their Messiah die on the Cross.
It’s helpful to ponder this apparent contradiction. Jesus was accomplishing His act of redemption, the greatest act of love ever known, and so many were in complete confusion and despair. It shows that God’s ways are so far above our own ways. What appeared to be a great loss actually turned into the most glorious triumph ever known.
So it is with our lives. Holy Saturday should be a reminder to us that even those things which seem to be the worst of tragedies are not always what they seem. God the Son was obviously doing great things as He laid in the tomb. He was accomplishing His mission of redemption. He was changing lives and pouring forth grace and mercy.
The message of Holy Saturday is clear. It’s a message of hope. Not hope in a worldly sense, rather, it’s the message of divine hope. Hope and trust in God’s perfect plan. Hope in the fact that God always has a greater purpose. Hope in the fact that God uses suffering and, in this case, death as a powerful instrument of salvation.
Spend time in silence today. Try to enter into the reality of Holy Saturday. Let divine hope grow within you knowing that Easter is soon to come.
Lord, I thank You for the gift of Your suffering and death. Thank You for this day of silence as we await Your Resurrection. May I also await Your triumph in my life. When I struggle with despair, dear Lord, help me to be reminded of this day.
The day when all appeared as loss. Help me to see my struggles through the lens of Holy Saturday, remembering that You are faithful in all things and that the Resurrection is always assured to those who put their trust in You. Jesus, I do trust in You. Amen.