Posted by: livingscripture | April 3, 2010



The anguish of an absence

 Meditation on Holy Saturday

 of Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger


 The terrible mystery of Holy Saturday, the day God hides!  It is the day of that unheard of paradox we recite in the Creed, ‘He descended into hell’.  He descended into the mystery of death.  On Good Friday we could at least look upon Him pierced.

 Holy Saturday is the emptiness, the heavy stone of the new sepulcher that covers the deceased.  All is past.  Faith seems to be definitively unmasked as fanaticism.  No god has saved this Jesus who claimed to be His Son.  We can be tranquil.  The prudent, who had been somewhat stirred in their intimate self, considering if it could be, now were proven right.

 Holy Saturday, day of God’s burial.  Is not this also our ‘today’ in an impressive way?  Doesn’t our century begin as a great Holy Saturday, day of God’s absence when even the disciples have a gelid emptiness in their heart that continues to spread?  For this reason they prepare for their return home full of shame and anguish.  They go, sad and destroyed in their desperation, toward Emmaus, without realizing that the One whom they believed dead is in their midst?


 Lord Jesus Christ in the obscurity of death You brought light.  In the abyss of the deepest solitude, there dwells forever the powerful protection of Your love.  In the midst of Your hiding, we can now sing the alleluia of the saved.  Grant us the humble simplicity of faith that is not side tracked when You call us in hours of darkness, of abandonment, when everything seems problematical.  Grant us in this time when we fight a mortal battle around You, sufficient light to prevent us from losing You; sufficient light so that we may give it to those who have greater need of it.  Let the mystery of Your Easter joy shine forth, like the sunrise, in our days.  Grant that we may truly be Easter people in the midst of the Holy Saturday of history.  Grant us that through the bright and dark days of our times, we may ever find ourselves lighthearted on the journey toward Your future glory.



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