Enjoy this reading by Scott Hahn from an ancient homily for Holy Saturday.
Holy Saturday is sometimes seen as a break or interlude between the seemingly despondent events of Good Friday and the rejoicing in the Resurrection of Jesus on Easter Sunday. Our Apostle’s Creed states that Jesus “descended in to Hell” during this period. This has become known as the “Harrowing of Hell”. It is a difficult concept, but it relates to the mystery of all those good souls who lived and died before Jesus’ Sacrifice and how they now became free to share in the Salvation brought about by His Death.
The Church’s great Ceremony of the Easter Vigil which takes place in the evening of Holy Saturday, also focuses on such new beginnings. In the Service, there is a time when new Members of the Church are Baptised or Confirmed, initiating a new beginning for both them and us.
Finally, Holy Saturday is a time when we reflect upon the unwavering ministry of Jesus’ women followers. It was them who remained with Jesus at the foot of the Cross when all the male disciples fled and hid. Their faithful presence is recorded in all Four Gospels. Their love for the Lord was not broken by His Death. They saw the tomb where His Body was laid and watched the stone being put into place. They were the ones who lamented and mourned. They formed the first small community who maintained Hope in the Lord’s Sacrifice. They were the ones who discovered the Empty Tomb when they came early on Sunday Morning to anoint the Body….and it was one of their number, Mary Magdalene, who was the first person to whom the Risen Lord appeared.
(Reflection by David Morson)
Dearest Mother Mary, on that first Holy Saturday, you kept vigil for your Son. You allowed the divine gift of hope to grow within you, and you allowed that hope to be your strength in the midst of the horror of the Cross. Pray for me that I may ponder your beautiful heart this day so that I, too, may be filled with hope as I endure the challenges of this earthly life. Give me a heart of joyful anticipation as I await the grace of new life our Lord so deeply desires to bestow upon me. Mother Mary, pray for me. Jesus, I do trust in You.
Ponder the reality of Holy Saturday in silence this day and allow the glorious heart of our Blessed Mother to inspire you and draw you more deeply into her life of faith, hope and love.