Saturday, 19 April 2014

Holy Saturday

Now there was a man named Joseph from the Jewish town of Arimathea. He was a member of the council, a good and righteous man, who had not consented to their purpose and deed, and he was looking for the kingdom of God. This man went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Lk. 23.50-52

And Pilate wondered if he were already dead; and summoning the centurion, he asked him whether he was already dead.  And when he learned from the centurion that he was dead, he granted the body to Joseph. Mk. 15.44-45

So he came and took away his body. Nicodemus also, who had at first come to him by night, came bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about a hundred pounds' weight. They took the body of Jesus, and bound it in linen cloths with the spices, as is the burial custom of the Jews. Jo. 19: 38-40

Joseph laid Jesus’ body in his own new tomb, which he had hewn in the rock; and he rolled a great stone to the door of the tomb, and departed. Mtt. 27.60

Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joses saw where he was laid. Mk. 15.47

On the sabbath they rested according to the commandment. Lk. 23:56

Good Friday ends at sundown and the Sabbath begins. The tomb is closed and everyone has gone accept for some guards. 
Two thoughts for our reflection,
  1. Where did they go?
  2. What was in their hearts?
On the evening of that day, the first day of the week, the doors being shut where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews, Jo. 20.19
And they rose that same hour and returned to Jerusalem; and they found the eleven gathered together and those who were with them, Lk. 24.33
From these two passages, we might conclude, they had gather together in one place, perhaps the same house with the upper room that was loaned to Jesus, where the Last Supper was celebrated. John mentions their fear of the Jews, and Mary Magdalene standing outside the tomb weeping. Fear and broken hearts was clearly their situation.

Praying on Holy Saturday gives us an opportunity to use the Ignatian approach to contemplation (see notes on method

This approach to contemplation directs us to employ our imagination
  • Imagine what the scene that you are considering looks like.
  • Look at the people in the scene, who are they, what are saying and doing.
  • Imagine yourself in this scene, your place, your different reactions.
  • Think of how this exercise is affecting you and what fruits for your spiritual life you are gaining.


THE TIME and THE PLACE: The Sabbath, following Jesus crucifixion, in the upper room. Since there is little scripture texts of to draw on, I have included this picture to help.

THE PEOPLE: It would include, Mary, mother of Jesus, the Eleven, other of Jesus disciples, the women who were following.

THE GRACE I SEEK: This approach to prayer is includes two - the one who prays and the Lord who comes to make our prayer fruitful by inspiring us to see. Prayer is gift, so ask for the grace of this prayer.

  • What strikes you at first?
  • Who are you focused on?
  • What do you hear - talk of danger, voices of disbelief and discouragement?
  • Who is weeping, how are you affected?
  • Do you see Mary, Jesus mother, what do you see, could you console her?
  • Their faith and hope is crushed, can you say, "I know your pain"?
  • Collect your thoughts, what are you focused on, what stands out for you?
  • Knowing more of their pain, can you identify more closely with these people?
  • But they will see the next day, and all will be different.
  • Does this give you new hope to meet the challenges to your faith, challenges that are sure to come?

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