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Saturday, March 30, 2024

Meditation Moments in Lent ~ Holy Saturday: Into the Silence ‘24

March 30, 2024 ~ Holy Saturday

Matthew 27:57-61

    When it was evening, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who was also a disciple of Jesus. He went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus; then Pilate ordered it to be given to him. So Joseph took the body and wrapped it in a clean linen cloth and laid it in his own new tomb, which he had hewn in the rock. He then rolled a great stone to the door of the tomb and went away. Mary Magdalene and the other Mary were there, sitting opposite the tomb. 

        Mary Magdalene and Mary, the mother of James, were there, sitting opposite the tomb ~ in the silence. In the silence of deep grief, the shock, the wide-eyed wonder of disbelief colliding with a reality that still hadn't quite set in. They are doing what must be done according to religious law and custom, but there is a nearly indefinable hollow space within them.
        In the midst of all of the "Easter" busy-ness, I must take time on this Holy Saturday and find the most silent place I am able to find even if only with sound-proof headphones on in the bathroom. I must breathe in the quiet, the stillness, the emptiness of the Marys. Yet I am also able to breathe with the relief of knowing how this day will turn into joy. But for however many minutes, and more if I steal the time away, I will sit with the Marys...waiting...hearing the stillness, the beating of our hearts, the deafening sound of silence...

Jesus, our Holy Redeemer,
     On this Saturday, let the silence of the Tomb engulf us as it did the followers of Jesus. In their stillness, they heard only the beating of their own sorrowful hearts. After Your cruel death, the night was long and dark and cold, and physically and emotionally painful in heart, mind, and soul.
     You know, as did all of Your Disciples, and for many of us in our own time, waking the day after a stunning and shocking loss, that day is just as confusing as the moment it happened, as first light offers a nano-second of forgetting. Then as sudden as the loss, the reality hits the psyche again as a lightning strike that penetrates deeply and burns hot. In their time, the followers of Jesus would still be in shock this day, knowingly yet futilely grasping at any hole in the truth that what they witnessed yesterday didn't happen, couldn’t possibly have happened. But it did happen. 
     Be with us, Lord, as yesterday and the day before, we had the opportunity to hear or read again the Gospel accounts of the last days of Your human life. Help us, on this day after, to pause from our busyness in preparing for the celebration of tomorrow. While we, in our time, know the next part of the story, those who knew You in their time did not. Open us, this day, to relate to the grief of those who knew and loved You in that time, their pain, their grief, their emptiness, their fear. Embrace us through the mercy of Your Redemption, to find courage and purpose and peace in answering Your call to return our souls to You, to know and live our love for You by being Your disciples in our time even when it is the most difficult thing to do. 
     Even as we know the story of what tomorrow will bring, let us go through this day and this night as if we do not. Take us into the silence of Your Tomb. amen. 


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