I’ve often thought about Holy Saturday. The disciples have seen their master and Lord assassinated by the state for being a threat to the empire. They might remember that Jesus told them that he would return but now as they face grief and pain that promise seems far fetched. Peter can’t believe that he denied Jesus and the rest of the disciples seem to go back to life as usual.
Jesus was not the first messiah to find himself dead as an insurrectionist. There had been others and although the disciples believed that Jesus was the true Messiah that had been promised you can imagine their disappointment when he died, like the other ones. Though there was much talk around Jerusalem about what had happened it still did not change the reality: Jesus was dead and they had to find a way to move forward.
Holy Saturday reminds us that we should not hurry to celebration. It is normal to grieve, to feel like you have failed, and to try to go back to life as usual. It is normal on a day like today to feel a bit hopeless. What if what we have believed in is merely fiction? What if the one that we have given our lives to is not who they said they were? What now? Denial is a powerful force so “normality” is often the best tool to avoid dealing with reality. So we too go back to normal, even though nothing is the same.
On this Holy Saturday let us reflect on the sense of hopelessness that the disciples felt long ago. Let us go about our lives like nothing has happened, like everything is the same. Let us also meditate on a God is present even when silent, at work even when it seems idle, and caring even when it seems like no one does. My hunch is that it is in this “in between” place that our salvation begins to take hold.
So people of God, do not hurry. Sit in the uncomfortableness of the unknown, unfinished, and unclear. Sit in the possibility that our salvation might not be near, that waiting might be our best bet. Sit in the hope that no matter how dim, joy, salvation, new life, is around the corner. The light of Christ unable to be conquered by darkness.
In the silence of today, pay attention, for the promise will be fulfilled!