Saturday, March 22, 2008

The Sounds of Silence

Holy Saturday 2008
The theme for Holy Saturday is silence.
There should be no Sacraments today (except in emergency) until the Vigil this evening.
Today we are running around, polishing our shoes, ironing our Sunday best, cooking our Easter dinners. Those entering our Catholic family are worrying "Am I doing the right thing?" (You are.) or "What is that second question and its answer?" (Don't worry, the rest of us don't know either. Your first lesson as a Catholic, if you don't know, act as if you do.)
But consider that first Holy Saturday. Jesus's disciples were Jews. It was the Sabbath, and a particularly solemn one during Passover, so unless they went to the Temple or a synagogue they didn't go anywhere and they didn't do anything. And their Leader was gone.
Our Lady wasn't sure what was going to happen next. She knew Something was coming, and coming soon. The Indwelling Spirit within her was telling her so. So she went around encouraging the others.
Mary Magdalene was sorrowing. She was making lists in her head so that she would be ready to anoint His Body, and she was steeling herself to see her Beloved's body one last time.
Peter was in grief as well. The One who made Peter something was gone, and Peter had betrayed Him. News of Judas's end had come to them, and Peter was wondering whether if Judas had been the braver one for incurring damnation rather than living with the interior shame of betrayal. Would Peter follow Judas's act the next day? Or could the dead Jesus yet forgive him from beyond the grave?
And what of the others? What were they thinking? What was Pilate thinking? And Caiaphas? Were they planning on sending soldiers to arrest the rest of Jesus's band?
And the disciples, were they waiting for arrest the next day? (The soldiers wouldn't come today, would they? After all, it was the Sabbath). Two were planning to leave for Emmaus as soon as they could leave.
What would you be doing? How would you reflect in the long Silence. You know now the Next Scene. But pretend you don't, and ask yourself the question "What would I be thinking?" Take some time today and experience the Silence. Feel the World leaning forward in its seat, like at an Indiana Jones movie, waiting with held breath for the climax approaching. And when the Easter fire is lit tonight....

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