April 3, 2021

Holy Saturday

“What can bring us happiness?” many say. Lift up the light of your face on us, O Lord. (Psalm 4:7)

Holy Saturday ends with the exuberant joy of the Easter Vigil, but it begins with silence — the silence that enveloped all creation following the death of the Savior. Silence flooded the minds and hearts of the disciples of Jesus, too, as they hurriedly washed and anointed his tortured body, wrapped it in a shroud, rolled a large stone across the entrance to the tomb, and departed.

Much as we might wish to do so, we are not called to rush to the events of Easter until nightfall and the dawn of the new day but to spend today in the silence of waiting. An ancient homily in the Office of Readings sets the tone beautifully: “Something strange is happening. There is a great silence on earth today, a great silence and stillness. The whole earth keeps silence because the King is asleep. The earth trembled and is still because God has fallen asleep in the flesh.”

Not all waiting is the same. There is the waiting of hope: for an opportunity to present itself, a relationship to grow, a long-desired child to be born. There is the waiting of the unknown: for an end to pain and struggle, for some semblance of peace, for death to take a loved one beside whose bed we stand, as if on Calvary.

In the silence of this day, we hear the voice of Jesus anew — not the anguished cry, “God? my God, why have you forsaken me?” But, “Into your hands, Father, I commend my spirit.” What are you most seeking? Wait in silence for God to answer.


We look to you, O God, trusting in you. Lift up the light of your face on us, as you did in raising your Son to live forever in glory. Amen.


Daily Eucharistic Reflection – Center for Eucharistic Evangelizing (eucharisticevangelizing.com)
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About Anthony Schueller, SSS

Father Anthony Schueller was the Provincial Superior of the Province of Saint Ann of the Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament and the editor of Emmanuel.