On Holy Saturday, we wait with the women who weep at Christ’s tomb. In between the drama of Good Friday and the new life of the Resurrection on Easter Sunday, we wait in silence. Those who accompanied Jesus and remained at the foot of the Cross don’t depart immediately after his death but wait in faith and in fidelity to the promise.
One wonders what must be running through the minds of these women, and all the disciples with whom Jesus shared a meal on Passover evening. After all, even before they recognized what was to happen to Jesus, well before his arrest and betrayal by Jesus, in a time of apparent celebration and joy, Jesus had said to them: “In a little while you will see me no more, and then after a little while you will see me” and “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you” (John 16:16, 14:18). Even after his death, with the witnesses of many who saw die and be laid in the tomb, they must have clung to these words as a promise. Jesus had pointed to his own death, but also to the resurrection, offering them hope of new life.
Whatever else happens, they know that something has profoundly changed, that life as they know it has been forever transformed, but they know not yet into what….what awaits as they weep and wait at the tomb? Faith, hope, and love for Jesus must have sustained them in their time of wait, and offered them patience to endure. On Holy Saturday, we wait with hope and trust for the resurrection in the many places where our world is hurt and broken, placing faith in the knowledge of God’s enduring promise in the midst of the as-yet-unknown.
*Holy Women at the Tomb, Bouguereau