Can you imagine transitioning from the crescendo of grief and sorrow ushered in on Holy Thursday night, which found its full expression in the Commemoration of the Lord’s Passion on Good Friday, and then plunging oneself into the Glory and Joy of Easter the very next day?
Would it not be a shock to leave the foot of the Cross and enter almost immediately into the Gloria in Excelsis Deo, bells ringing, Paschal Candle, Fragrant Lilies, Christ is Risen?
How wise of Our Lord to give us this day of silence. This strangely calm day when the tabernacle is empty, the adoration chapels are closed, our churches are abandoned except for those preparing decorations for Easter splendor tomorrow. In some places, confessions may be heard. But for the most part, all is quiet.
Perhaps in the emptiness, one can better experience the reality of a world without Jesus Christ. He is, after all, lying in the tomb today…not preaching, not suffering, not dying, not rising, not ascending, not yet reigning in Glory. He is essentially absent from our midst. Even yesterday, we could receive Him in Holy Communion. Today, He is not here..something to think about.
Not until sundown tonight, not until Easter Vigil will He once again dwell among us in His Flesh and Blood, His Glorious Humanity.
I have always been delighted that Jesus was not dead for 72 hours or what we consider three full days. Actually, His time in the tomb was much shorter than that. I love to meditate on the idea that He Who is Life could scarcely be held back from rising again, as quickly as possible to His New Life…which He promises to us as well.
But I am grateful for Holy Saturday…..the day of anticipation.
On this “necessary day,” may that anticipation ever rise in our hearts, preparing us for the ecstasy of that soon to come Eucharistic Embrace of our Risen Jesus.
And like the disciples on the road to Emmaus, may our hearts truly burn within us.
But for now, we wait…..