Today in the Holy Mother Church, the faithful keep watch… Our emotions are a mixture of joy and sorrow…We are eager with the anticipation of Easter, the coming Resurrection of Our Lord, that part brings immeasurable joy and comfort...But for now…these moments while Our lord’s body remains hidden behind a huge boulder…in a borrowed tomb…we are anxious with the waiting…It really is a ‘roller coaster ride’ kind of day.
On one hand, we know that everything will be okay… because we have the benefit of years of teaching. We have The Bible…the actual Word of God…the Light at the end of the tunnel, literally. We also have the Tradition of The Church, the knowledge that has been handed down through the generations from Jesus to the Apostles…We can find comfort…we can skip ahead and read the end…but for Our Dear Lady, this was a day of torment…a day of limbo… She was caught between the horrible death of Jesus and His coming Resurrection…the images of His torture and death on the Cross were fresh in Her mind…it was a painful sword in Her heart…She must have been in such great agony…There is A Title For Our Blessed Mother during these most desolate hours…Our Lady of Solitude.
Sometimes, as Catholics, we want to jump ahead and delve right into the Easter Vigil…glossing over the significance of this day…and the sorrow that surrounds it. We busy this day with all the unfinished preparations for the coming Feast. We forget to pause and contemplate…we neglect to meditate upon Our Mother’s sorrows…failing to unite ourselves with Her…and Her great moments of Sorrow…there is something to be gained from this…there always is…
Along with the prayerful meditations to Our Lady of Solitude, we should remember that this is the day that Jesus’ body is hidden from the world…It is the day He descended into ‘hell’… that dark and void place where all the good men who had perished were eagerly waiting for Him. It was not the actual hell as we think of in our everyday language… this place was more like a place of limbo…these were the souls of ‘just men’… they knew they were separated from God…they were waiting to be united with Him. Remember, before Christ died for us, the door to Heaven was closed…there was no where else for them to go…So when Jesus died, He entered into this dark place, this land of the dead, and brought with Him, all the Holy Prophets, all those men of the Old Testament…to their final reward….to their place with Him in Heaven.
We are reminded of Lazarus, and how Jesus raised Him from the dead….it was a foreshadowing of His power over death…and not just for a few…Christ’s power over death is for all of us who believe and live by this Faith…
“Everyone who lives in Me and believes in Me will not die…”
So, as we finish up with our preparations for tonight’s Easter Vigil, we should not waste a moment of this truly special day. There are opportunities of grace for those who submit their heart to the Lord. If we can unite ourselves with the sufferings of Our Lady of Solitude… unite our hearts with the Will of God … it will enable us to join with Him in the coming celebration of Easter…it will help us realize that He is Risen…that indeed…truly… He is Lord.