On this day God is silent, yet God is still at work. Scripture tells us Holy Saturday is the day Christ descended and ministered to those in Hades, or the place of the dead. This is not a trivial or side matter, which is why “He descended to the dead” finds mention in the Apostles’ Creed. Christ goes to Hades not as a victim, but as a victor. God’s great reversal begins here. Christ is crucified, and Satan and the forces of evil think they have won the day. Yet the Crucified one storms the place to free those held captive. Tradition affirms that Christ led Adam and Eve out by hand. This is significant too, for we are the spiritual children of Adam and Eve and the Fall.
Today we reflect on that period of confusion and silence, between the sadness of the cross and the joy of Easter. From the bewilderment of Jesus’ disciples to the great faith of Mary, we examine our own lives in light of the great “Sabbath of Time” and draw courage from Mary’s example to face the future with deep hope, patience, love and interior peace. As she waited in faith for the victorious triumph of Her Son over death on the first Holy Saturday, so we too wait with Mary on the present Holy Saturday.
As we behold the body of Jesus in the tomb today, and as we contemplate the mystery of our death, we prepare our hearts to receive the Good News of life. We know that tomb will be empty and remain empty forever as a sign that our lives will not really end, but only be transformed. One day, we will all rest in the embrace of Jesus, who knows our death, and who prepares a place for us in everlasting life. But for now, we wait...!