From the Word of the Day
On Holy Saturday, the Church pauses at the Lord’s tomb meditating on His passion and death, abstaining from the celebration of the Sacrifice of the Mass. The altar is without cloth and ornaments until the solemn Vigil or evening wait for the Resurrection. This day is without a Liturgy. (From the Roman Missal)
A great silence envelops this day. Words must cease and give way to the awe of mute contemplation because the Lord came in solidarity with mortal humans bringing salvation to all of humanity. It is the mystery of the descent into hell that we profess in the Creed as the announcement of salvation for every person. The absence of elements that anticipate the joy of Easter can help us to live this special day as a silent memorial of Him who entered even the regions of death where ‘nobody’s land’ was inhabited by Him.
“The Earth is tired. All is asleep and waiting. Even the body of Jesus rests and peacefully sleeps in the tomb awaiting God’s marvels. This Great Saturday is not like the others. Something has radically changed. The curtain of the Temple has just been brutally torn, unveiling the Holy of Holies. The Temple is no longer in its place; it is Easter in Easter. Everything is elsewhere. Everything is here nearby, near the body that sleeps in the tomb. Everything is waiting; everything must still happen in a garden in spring, where even the night is all a whisper of life and lymph that flows. The Church, Spouse of Jesus, is not disoriented. It persists at the tomb that encloses the beloved body. Love does not despair; love can do all and hope all. It knows that it is stronger than death. (Andre Louf, ‘Love Alone is Enough’; Spiritual Comment on Luke’s Gospel)
Today I will pause in expectant silence, awaiting the great event of Jesus’ Resurrection.
The Voice of an Ancient Oriental Homily
Today, there is a great silence over all the earth, great silence and solitude. Great silence because the King sleeps. The earth is perplexed and is silent because God made man has fallen asleep and has awakened those who slept. God is dead in the flesh and has descended to awaken the region of the dead. Certainly, He goes to find the first father, like the lost sheep. He wants to go down to visit those who sleep in darkness and in the shadow of death. God and the Son go to free Adam and Eve from the suffering in which they were imprisoned.