First Question of the Day
Is God absent from your life?
He descended to the dead
We began the Easter Triduum (three days in our time that are one continuous day in the spiritual realm), the evening of Holy Thursday, by celebrating the Mass of the Lord’s Supper. At the Last Supper, Jesus instituted the Eucharist, so that he might be with us always in the most intimate way, so that our souls would be strengthened on their journey back to God. Another aspect of Holy Thursday is Jesus’ Agony in the Garden. This is where we bring our own agonies and learn to accept God’s will and plan for our lives, including our suffering, be it that which he has ordained or that which he has permitted.
Yesterday, the Church accompanied Our Lord Jesus Christ as he suffered his Passion and death. We walked the stations of the cross; we adored and reverenced the Holy Cross.
This morning the Church is silent. Holy Saturday is the darkest day of the year. The Church will not celebrate Holy Mass. We are unable to receive Jesus in the Eucharist. So what are we to do on this day? We wait with the Blessed Virgin Mary at the tomb of her son.
Yesterday the Blessed Virgin Mary stood at the foot of the cross. Her eyes did not turn away. She must not have wanted to blink. How great was Mary’s faith and hope that she stood and watched and suffered with Jesus, who was innocent yet condemned. Only unshakable confidence in the divinity of her Son could give her strength to stand and watch.
How is our faith? In what state is our spirit this morning? Will we allow and embrace the heaviness of the spiritual darkness and silence, or will we run from it? Are we eager to eat after fasting yesterday, or will we continue to fast for at least some of the day? Will we take time to contemplate what Jesus has done for us?
For contemplation on Holy Saturday, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI has three meditations on the anguish of the absence of God.
Will we die to self and rise in Christ, becoming a new creation? Do we believe that Jesus will make us a new creation? Do we long to be free, at peace?
Come, all you who pass by the way, look and see whether there is any suffering like my suffering. — Lamentations 1:12
The last enemy to be destroyed is death. — 1 Corinthians 15:26
We know that Christ, raised from the dead, dies no more; death no longer has power over him. — Romans 6:9
He saved us and called us to a holy life, not according to our works but according to his own design and the grace bestowed on us in Christ Jesus before time began, but now made manifest through the appearance of our savior Christ Jesus, who destroyed death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel, — 2 Timothy 1:10–11
He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there shall be no more death or mourning, wailing or pain, [for] the old order has passed away. — Revelation 21:4
More Questions of the Day
Did Jesus really descend into hell?
Do you lack faith? Do you desire an increase in faith, because it is not yet the size of a mustard seed?
Do you desire the gift of contemplation—the ability to ponder with Mary the great mystery of her divine Son?
Do you desire to move from fear and despair to peace and joy?
What difficulty is God asking you to endure with a watchful, prayerful presence—your own waiting for the coming of the Lord?
ask. seek. knock. find.
His grace is infinite
Prayer of the Day
Psalm 43: Prayer to Worship God Anew
Grant me justice, O God;
defend me from a faithless people;
from the deceitful and unjust rescue me.
You, O God, are my strength.
Why then do you spurn me?
Why must I go about mourning,
with the enemy oppressing me?
Send your light and your fidelity,
that they may be my guide;
Let them bring me to your holy mountain,
to the place of your dwelling,
That I may come to the altar of God,
to God, my joy, my delight.
Then I will praise you with the harp,
O God, my God.
Why are you downcast, my soul?
Why do you groan within me?
Wait for God, for I shall again praise him,
my savior and my God.