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Holy Saturday – A Reflection

April 11, 2020
Jesus is laid in the tomb — Stations of the Cross at the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Francis of Assisi in Santa Fe, NM

On this Holy Saturday as Jesus’s body laid in the tomb we remember. According to tradition, Jesus went down to the realm of the dead and broke the chains of sin and death. He cast wise the prison doors by bringing the Gospel to those who had no opportunity to hear it.

Regardless though, we remember. I remember when I was a kid I went to see if a friend of mine could come out to play. It was Holy Saturday and his mom said that he couldn’t come out to play because it was Holy Saturday. Years later I now understand. We are in such an all-fire hurry to get to Easter Sunday that we forget what the disciples and the women (including Jesus’s mother Mary) endured.

On this Holy Saturday I remember… and I pray… May the Spirit in her infinite wisdom and compassion guide us through the Valley of the Shadows. Once again She draws me to the words of my spiritual mentor Thomas Merton.

He wrote the following in his poem, “The Trappist Cemetery—Gethsemane” (from In the Darkness Before Dawn: New Selected Poems of Thomas Merton, p. 34)

Then will your graves, Gethsemane, give up their angels,

Return them to their souls to learn

The songs and and attitudes of glory.

Then will creation rise again like gold

Clean, from the furnace of your litanies:

The beasts and trees shall share your resurrection,

And a new world be born from these green tombs.

As we contemplate this night O Lord, May this new world indeed be born from these green tombs. Out of the depths O Lord, hear our prayer.

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