Holy Saturday

Today is Holy Saturday, the day that falls between Good Friday and Easter Sunday. We have a tendancy to view this day as preparation for Easter – we do our shopping for Easter dinner with our friends and relatives, or perhaps we help get the church ready for the Easter Vigil. However, it is a day that offers us a special opportunity for contemplation.

In the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius, “tomb day” is the transition between Weeks 3 and 4 of the exercises, that is, between our contemplation of Jesus’ passion and our contemplation of His resurrection. During that transition, we are invited to experience what Mary and the disciples experienced after Jesus’ death….to experience Jesus’ death and absence. Ignatius believed that in order to fully appreciate the significance of Jesus’ rising for us, we have to appreciate what his death really means.

Thus, in Ignatian terms, Holy Saturday is an invitation to envision a world without Jesus. To try to experience it in a real and personal way. The instruction for prayer during “tomb day” in the Spiritual Exercises is to be with the disciples and with Mary and the other women in their grief over losing Jesus. To actually be with them – taking Jesus body off the cross, washing and annointing it, placing it in the tomb and watching the rock being rolled across the tomb’s entrance. Be with Mary and the other disciples afterwards. Wherever they go, go with them. Whatever they are doing, do it with them. One instruction for the tomb experience says, “Let the effect of Jesus’ death permeate your whole being and the world around you for the whole day.”

We are invited today to spend some time in that space between death and resurrection. It is a good invitation to accept.


3 thoughts on “Holy Saturday

  1. Pingback: Holy Saturday – envision the world without Jesus | FAMVIN: The International Vincentian Family

  2. In many Latin American countries, it is the custom to “walk with Mary, the Sorrowful Mother” on this day. An image of the “Dolorosa” is carried in procession, in some places, of just women. It is a quiet, reflective time.

    I am often amazed at the power of what I once considered to be a “misguided” cultural faith — a power that lends itself to deep really Biblical reflection. I hope I continue to learn from my Latin American sisters and brothers.

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