Holy Saturday, a bridge towards Easter

2015-01-27 10.03.08-1

“God works as much in darkness as He does in the light”

Rev. Ruth Patterson

I love Holy Saturday and I think it is one of the most overlooked days in our Christian story, and yet it has so much to offer for daily living. We probably spend a lot of our lives living through a Holy Saturday experience of sorts. Let me explain.

For most of us Holy Saturday became a day of expectance and anticipation of Easter glory, we don’t make as much effort to spend time with the silence of death, not just any death – a death of God. But the first Holy Saturday was a day when even God appeared to be silent. It was a day with no answers. Yes, Jesus was doing His deep redeeming work even in His death, but the disciples did not know that. For them, Saturday before Easter, as I like to call it, was a day of shattered hopes. None of them understood the events that had just happened the day before. None expected what was to follow, even though Jesus had told them about it. All seemed lost. Everything they ever thought they knew made no sense any more. Do you remember such moments in your life? I do too.

On the other hand, from God’s perspective Holy Saturday was the day when deep healing happened, healing invisible to the eyes, a day that reminds us that God works in us even when it appears that He is silent. It was a preparation for the Easter Alleluia; from God’s perspective Holy Saturday is like a bridge through which God fulfils His promises.

That day is a good reminder that how we humanly experience and view reality, and what the reality actually is in God – does not often match. Yet there is no judgement in any of this! God understands. And it cannot be different than that, we cannot and should not try to escape from our humanity.

I think it is good to try to ‘feel’ what the disciples felt on this day, just for a while. If we brought something in the last few days with us in prayer, something that in the previous reflection I called ‘our deepest sadness’, now we leave it in the grave with Jesus. It is up to Him what He does with that prayer now. Easter Vigil will come all too soon, and it is too easy to overlook the message that Holy Saturday offers us.

Many people, too many in fact, especially these days, go through experiences where all that they seemed to have known makes no more sense. Let us allow this day to teach us its wisdom. Even a day when God seemed to be silent, a day with no answers, can teach. This is a day in which silence is the best teacher, even the silence of God.

© Iva Beranek (Dublin, 2012-2015)
Photo by © Iva Beranek

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