Holy Saturday or Sabbatum Sanctum…. is a day of great anticipation…we have made it to the final day of our Lenten journey. Like Good Friday, there is no celebration of Mass today. The Church will remain empty until dark….the altar will remain bare as the faithful are called to remember that Christ is still in the tomb… hidden from the world. The somberness and pain from yesterday have settled into our hearts as we wait near the tomb of the Lord, meditating on His passion and His death and the impact it had on the entire world.
We wait…trying to control the excitement that tonight’s Vigil Mass will bring…especially for those who are about to join into the body of the Church with baptism, Holy Communion or Confirmation…We should really try not to get ahead of ourselves…We should really be trying to keep our emotions in check, even though we are eagerly awaiting the joyous celebration of Easter…We must continuously remind ourselves that for today… especially in these early hours.… That our hearts should maintain a certain amount heaviness with the painful realization of the price Christ paid for our sins.
Christ’s Passion wasn’t just something that ancient men did...it is not an action separate from us... No, the reality of our hand in Christ’s Crucifixion has really hit home… we are forced to face the fact that we are partly to blame …Last night as we read the account of the passion…we used our voices to join the crowds in yelling “Crucify Him…Crucify Him!“
These final two days before Easter have really forced us to come to accept the fact that our own sinful nature played a role in the need to Sacrifice of the Spotless Lamb… Not only were we there with the throngs of men…we are...in our sinfulness…the throngs of angry men who still call out… who still stir the pot of sin…yelling out … “Crucify Him!….Crucify Him!” Adding the weight of our sins to the burden that Christ carried… carried, and bore under the weight of the Cross… the Cross of Redemption.
The Liturgy of the Lord’s Passion is not some made up story…it is not just some random reading…It is a revelation of the Truth and it speaks to each of us personally… it is not meant to be a distant far off, foreign text…. It should be speaking to us…right here, close to home… right here in our hearts and souls. And it should remind us of all the times we have chosen sin over good….
It is a somber day…this Holy Saturday…when the faithful are called to remember… Urged to unite ourselves with the Sorrowful Heart of our Dear Blessed Mother and the pain She was called to endure….for our good... Throughout these forty days of Lent we have been called to repent and to amend our lives, in order that we can fully be who God created us to be…We have to understand the enormity of our sin.…the enormity of Christ’s Sacrifice for us. Each of us. You. And me…. we have to understand the cost… the price that was paid…we have to wrap our hearts around it, if we want to really have a good Easter… If we really want to experience the joy that Easter will bring, we have to finish This Way of Cross. We have to follow as Jesus’ body is taken down from the Cross and placed in a borrowed tomb... The Church reminds us to use these final hours to wait patiently outside the tomb… with Jesus’ Mother Mary and the faithful Apostles…To wait quietly, in prayer and contemplation…as the world grows in its darkness near the unopened tomb… Aching for the promises of the Lord…longing for Christ’s Resurrection and the promises of Easter.
Such beautiful words to describe this time of year and this entry into His pain, His suffering, His death, caused by OUR sin. I’m only just beginning to understand that this is not just some distant thing in the past, but is made present through the truth of His Church.
Thankful for His grace and mercy.