Today is Holy Saturday, a very sacred day. Many times this becomes almost an "Easter" in our homes, with all the preparation, but we must also enter into the stillness of this day- the absence of Christ's Presence and the presence of Hope! The Liturgy today says: "On Holy Saturday the Church waits at the Lord's tomb in prayer and fasting, meditating on His Passion and Death and on his descent into Hell, and awaiting His Resurrection. The Church abstains from the Sacrifice of the Mass, with the sacred table left bare, until after the solemn Vigil, that is, the anticipation by night of the Resurrection, when the time comes for paschal joys, the abundance of which overflows to occupy fifty days. Holy Communion may only be given on this days as Viaticum".
As there are no set readings for Holy Saturday we will offer a few: The First: In stations of the cross yesterday, Fr. Peter Cameron offers a beautiful reflection for the 14th Station it is very poignant: "We must roll back the stone that closes off our heart. We must remove from the deep recesses of our heart all those things that make our heart a stinking tomb. Nothing that enters a man from outside can make him impure, that which comes out of him, and only that, constitutes impurity...wicked designs, come from the deep recesses of the heart; acts of fornication, theft, murder, adulterous conduct, greed, maliciousness, deceit, sensuality, envy, blasphemy, arrogance, an obtuse spirit (contrary spirit). All these evils come from within and render a man impure" Powerfully piercing words. Allow these words to examine the mind and heart today. What stone "sin" is closing off my heart from God and others?
Here at St. Joseph's Formation Center, we have a Young Adult Expedition/Triduum Retreat in progress, with 22 Young Adults up here on retreat and last night Fr. Quinn gave a beautiful formation talk. He spoke about Obedience and Love (Phil 2) oftentimes called the Kenotic Hymn. "Son though He was, he did not deem equality with God, something to be grasped at, rather he emptied himself and took the form of a slave becoming obedient, to even death on the cross because of this God highly exalted Him." Obedience then is a high expression of Love, it is how love is realized to a parent. Let us look in our lives too, at the crosses that are present and ponder this "following of Christ" in my own life and the crosses that I too must accept out of love.
Last point, in the morning office of the Liturgy of the Hours, Psalm 16, the very last stanza grabbed my heart this morning when I was praying: "You will show me the path of life, the fullness of Joy in Your Presence, at your right hand, happiness forever". No sweeter words to hear. It does not say "TO" your presence, it says "IN" your presence. That is a very important word to ponder. It means I do not have to "travel there" I just need to become more and more aware, that I am IN YOUR PRESENCE right now, at this moment and that recognition of Truth is the fastest way out of sorrow and into the fullness of joy. Here we return to the place we began , this "fullness" found only in Christ Jesus.
Let us Pray: Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the Living God, I love you, increase my faith teach me to walk close with you, aware of Your Presence, ever present to me. I love you Jesus Amen.