Holy Week Meditations: Saturday 20 April

Apr 20, 2019 by


Apr 20 

31:1-4, 15-16 Job 14:1-14 1 Pet 4:1-8 Matt 27:57-66


LITURGICAL THEME FOR THE DAY: There is no liturgy on Holy Saturday.  We spend the day reflecting upon the powerful reality of Jesus’ death.

In addition to the Daily Reflection and the Preparing for the Easter Vigil Liturgy pages, we offer a page with each of the readings for the Easter Vigil and a page with each of the prayers that are said after each reading.  These pages are inter-linked, so that is it possible to go back and forth, easily, just following the links.

What is important is that we keep this day holy, and let our “sense” of the mystery of death shape our reflection, and our longing to celebrate the Easter gift of Jesus alive, for us and with us.

This is the Blessed Sabbath. The “Great Vigil” is the day, which connects Good Friday, the commemoration of the Cross, with the day of His Resurrection. To many the real natures and the meaning of this “connection”, or “middle day”, remains obscure. For a good majority of churchgoers, the “important” days of Holy Week are Friday and Sunday, the Cross -and the Resurrection. These two days, however, remain somehow “disconnected unless one engages in the Great Vigil this day of transformation, the day when victory grows from inside the defeat, when before the Resurrection, we are given to contemplate the death of death itself. All this is expressed, and even more, all this really takes place every year in this marvelous morning service, in this liturgical commemoration, which becomes for us a saving and transforming present.

 MEDITATION OF THE DAY: This day – Easter Eve – has an empty feel about it: suspended between the tragedy of Good Friday and the triumph of Easter Sunday. Much has happened almost too much to digest.  Think about this week past that culminates on this night: the palm procession on Sunday, to the enactment of the last supper on Thursday, the betrayal and the crucifixion where Jesus was mocked, killed, nailed to a cross of wood, and left to die like a common criminal – while his friends watched, the end of all their hopes and ours. Yet despite such tragedy the women come to the tomb expecting to use their spices to anoint Christ’s body in death. These faithful and loving followers of Jesus, were ready to carry out the duties which death requires of them. Am I? Are we? They are told. “Jesus is not here, but has risen,” no doubt a fantastic tale to their hearing. How does it sound to you?

PRAYER OF THE DAY: Lord, by the suffering of Christ your Son you have saved us all from the death we inherited from sinful Adam. By the law of nature, we have borne the likeness of his manhood. May the sanctifying power of grace help us to put on the likeness of our Lord in heaven, who lives and reigns for ever and ever. Amen.

ANCIENT WISDOM/PRESENT GRACE: Christ does not force our will; He only takes what we give Him. But He does not give Himself entirely until He sees that we yield ourselves entirely to Him. — St. Teresa of Avila

HOLY WEEK DISCIPLINE:  As a quiet day one should follow customs such as in Slavic countries there is a blessing of the traditional Easter foods, prepared in baskets: eggs, ham, lamb and sausages, butter and cheeses, horseradish and salt and the Easter breads. The Easter blessings of food owe their origin to the fact that these foods, namely, flesh meat and milk products, including eggs, were forbidden in the Middle Ages during the Lenten fast and abstinence. When the feast of Easter brought the rigorous fast to an end, and these foods were again allowed at table, the people showed their joy and gratitude by first taking the food to church for a blessing

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