On Holy Saturday, we look back on the sacrifice of Lent and forward to the joy of Easter

iStock

April 20/Holy Saturday

Advertisement

I set the Lord ever before me; with him at my right hand I shall not be disturbed. Therefore my heart is glad and my soul rejoices, my body, too, abides in confidence. You will show me the path to life, fullness of joys in your presence, the delights at your right hand forever.
~ Ps 16:
8, 9, 11

Certain memories linger in our hearts with special clarity, perhaps because they encase formative moments in our lives. The day we met the person we would marry, a life-altering encounter with a demanding teacher, our first view of a newborn child—each of us has a store of such memories. For me, a long-ago Holy Saturday that marked the day before my reception into the Catholic Church is one of those. And what I remember most—beyond the sunshine of an unexpectedly tranquil afternoon, as the babies napped and my husband went out on a field trip with the priest who would confirm me the next day—was a sense of peaceful, quiet anticipation.

Today, as we await the transformation of Good Friday’s dark despair into the bright joy of Easter morning, we celebrate in an especially profound way the continuing presence of God in our lives. It is a day of expectation, a liminal day in which we look back over the Lenten weeks past, full of sorrowing and sighing, of remorse and regret, and forward to the jubilant singing and uplifting feasts (both liturgical and literal) of tomorrow.

Yes, our lives have moments of distress and suffering, sometimes lots of them. Sometimes those moments even seem disproportionate to our merit and our faithfulness. But the message of the Resurrection is that ultimately God will turn our weeping into rejoicing, our mourning into dancing, and our sorrows into delights at his right hand. As Easter morning dawns, let us give thanks above all for the God of love, who emptied himself so that we might experience “fullness of joys” in his presence.

O Lord of all life, instill in me an Easter joy that will spill forth in all I say and do, both tomorrow and forevermore.Amen.

For today’s readings, click here: http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/042019.cfm

Comments are automatically closed two weeks after an article's initial publication. See our comments policy for more.

Advertisement
More: Lent / Prayer

The latest from america

Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden meets with attendees during a campaign event, Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2020, in Charleston, S.C. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
The only Democratic candidate whom a majority of poll respondents viewed as very or somewhat religious is former Vice President Joe Biden, who appeared at public events on Ash Wednesday with ashes on his forehead.
Michael J. O’LoughlinFebruary 27, 2020
Anyone dissatisfied with the current state of elementary and high school education might ask why we don't return to classical educational models.
Matthew D. WalzFebruary 27, 2020
A street scene in Bartella. Photo by Rami Esa Saqat and Fadi Esa Saqat.
With the liberation of parts of Iraq from ISIS in 2017, Iraq’s Christians returned home to two unwelcome developments. Their homes had been burned, looted or destroyed by ISIS and Iran-backed groups who helped defeat ISIS—known as Popular Mobilization Forces—now controlled their towns.
Xavier BisitsFebruary 27, 2020
Pope Francis arrives to celebrate Ash Wednesday Mass at the Basilica of Santa Sabina in Rome Feb. 26, 2020. (CNS photo/Cristian Gennari, pool)
The pope’s spokesman said “his other meetings proceed regularly.” His words were intended to downplay the concern that his condition might be in any way serious.
Gerard O’ConnellFebruary 27, 2020