Today we sit in the darkness. We have no liturgy. Instead, we simply contemplate death. We contemplate Jesus, who lies dead in the tomb.
This is an important contemplation. Death is real and it is something none of us escapes. Our human existence, however many years it may be, will come to an end. Rich or poor, famous or unknown, smart or slow – at some point, we will all die.
We usually shy away from thinking about death. Truth be told, we tend to fear it. But the reality is that resurrection has no meaning unless we appreciate the reality of death. Unless Jesus dies for us – really dies – then he can’t rise for us. And our own resurrection is intimately tied with his; if Jesus resurrection is not real to us, then neither can be our own.
In the words of a Creighton Holy Saturday reflection:
Today is a day to soberly put aside the blinders we have about the mystery of death and our fear of it. Death is very real and its approach holds great power in our lives. The “good news” we are about to celebrate has no real power in our lives unless we have faced the reality of death. To contemplate Jesus’ body, there in that tomb, is to look our death in the face.
We sit today in the darkness, so that we can tomorrow more fully celebrate the light.