“To be sure, it was not Easter Sunday but Holy Saturday, but, the more I reflect on it, the more this seems to be fitting for the nature of our human life: we are still awaiting Easter; we are not yet standing in the full light but walking toward it full of trust.” (Pope Benedict XVI: born Joseph Aloisius Ratzinger served as Pope of the Catholic Church from 2005 until his resignation in 2013)
Scripture Text: ( John 19.41-2)
Now in the place where He was crucified there is a garden: and in the garden a new sepulchre, wherein was never man yet laid. There they laid Jesus.
The horror of yesterday has subsided. Jesus’ body has been lovingly tendered for burial and placed in the sepulcher. There is a hush over the garden after the clamor of the crowds and the hammering of nails of yesterday.
Holy Saturday is a day spent in quiet expectancy waiting for “Judah’s Lion [to] burst his chain”. It is a very low-key day but a day when we are still bidden to fast and pray. It is therefore a day of preparation, and by now we should have made our confession for Easter. We must be ready to greet the Risen Lord. Nothing must hinder our reaching out to Him as Mary did in the garden.
Holy Saturday is also a day of reflection, to look back on the Lent we have just kept and to see whether it has been a time of growth for us. Has it brought us to live a life that pursues holiness more and more? That is, have we come to know God better and to love Him more deeply in the way we have lived towards our fellow brothers and sisters? Hopefully we can all say, I have grown, even if only a little. It is progress, progress towards perfection in Christ which is the goal and purpose for every Christian. Having made that progress, we have to remember that living the Christian life is not static. We have to build on our Lenten foundation during the whole year. If that foundation has been solid, we may stumble but we shall not sink under the various trials and temptations which await us from day to day. Amongst all the changes and chances of this fleeting world, we can repose upon God’s changelessness.