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

The cardinal archbishop of Westminster came to Rome with 15 English and Welsh bishops to concelebrate the Mass in which Pope Francis declared Newman a saint, the first British saint to be born after 1800.
Gerard O’ConnellOctober 13, 2019
Participants expressed support for proposals to ordain women deacons and warned of the deadly consequences of climate change.
Luke Hansen, S.J.October 13, 2019
The racism that is now a part of public life must be named and opposed, Bishop Mark J. Seitz of El Paso, Tex., said in a new pastoral letter.
J.D. Long-GarcíaOctober 13, 2019
Banners showing new Sts. Giuseppina Vannini and John Henry Newman hang from the facade of St. Peter's Basilica as Pope Francis celebrates the canonization Mass for five new saints in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican Oct. 13, 2019. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)
The new saints include three women religious who cared for the poor and the sick, a laywoman mystic and the most significant English Catholic theologian of modern times.
Gerard O’ConnellOctober 13, 2019