My Dear Sisters and Brothers! This sense of vacuum is not wrong. Don’t be afraid of it. I would even encourage you to dive into it. If it makes you feel uncomfortable please do feel uncomfortable. If you feel that it is waste of time please do waste your time doing nothing today. If you feel alone and isolated please remain in your loneliness and isolation. If you feel that God is so far away that he can’t hear you please struggle with it. Do not run away from it. In this way you will re-enact, wherever you are at present, what happened to the Apostles after the Lord Jesus was crucified.
When we are in a dark place we want to see the light at the end of the tunnel. It is normal. However there are times when we feel that there is not and that there will not be any light at the end of the tunnel we find ourselves in. This is what we celebrate today on this Holy Saturday. The Scriptures don’t tell us much about what happened on this day with Jesus and what happened with his disciples. But we know that it was the Jewish Sabbath. It grounded the disciples. Their movements were very limited. They were left in their dark place after they abandoned their Master who was hung on the cross.
So what were they doing? Were they taking baths and ironing their Sunday best to get ready for the following day? They were not. We know that because when the women told them that Jesus was risen they told them off. The two disciples on the way to Emmaus with their downcast faces summarised the sentiments of their group.
My Dear fellow believers! I encourage you again to take this opportunity presented by the unprecedented circumstances of the national quarantine to embrace this Holy Saturday. The big nothing of this day takes us to the dark place the disciples of Jesus found themselves in. However this dark place was not simply psychological or emotional it was religious too. I find it astonishing and overwhelming that the Church hasn’t erased the memory of that dark and confusing day from our collective Christian memory. On the contrary it has been given a great significance as the second day of Easter Triduum.
I believe that if we give Holy Saturday a great significance in our yearly rhythm of our Christian celebrations, not only this year but every year we can be better equipped to face our own Holy Saturday moments which are not limited to one day of the year. When circumstances of life take away the comfort of the light of faith from us, when nothing we can do can restore it again, then we will live it as a stage of our faith journey not an evidence of having lost it.
I also believe that if we give Holy Saturday a great significance in our yearly rhythm of our Christian celebrations, not only this year but every year, we can be better equipped to deal with our loved ones announcing to us that they are atheists or the like. We will live it as a stage of their faith journey not an evidence they have lost it.
Holy Saturday! How to live it? What to do today? Put yourself in the shoes of the Apostles who found themselves in a dark place on the first Holy Saturday.