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Saturday, March 22, 2008

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Holy Saturday


(no Eucharistic readings)

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a day without jesus

"I had rather one day in Your courts than a thousand elsewhere." —Psalm 84:11

The first Holy Saturday was a day without Jesus. He was buried in the tomb, and, because of the sabbath, His body could not be anointed (Lk 23:56—24:1) or possibly even visited (Mt 28:1).

Today the Church relives that first Holy Saturday without Jesus. The Blessed Sacrament does not reside in the tabernacle today. There is no Mass during the day. We identify with Jesus buried in the tomb (see Rm 6:3-4).

Mary Magdalene spent the first Holy Saturday waiting. She longed for the day to end so she could be at Jesus' tomb. She so loved Jesus that she'd rather spend a thousand days at Jesus' tomb than one day without Him. She even arose before dawn the next day to go visit His tomb (Jn 20:1).

The Jewish elders, scribes, and chief priests who conspired to hand Jesus over to Pilate probably spent their first day without Jesus doing the same things they did before Jesus came into their lives. That's why they wanted to get rid of Jesus: because they couldn't live their normal lives if Jesus was a part of their world.

What about you? How is your day without Jesus? Do you miss Him as did Mary Magdalene? What are you waiting anxiously for today: the chance to finally be with the eucharistic Jesus tonight at the Easter Vigil liturgy, or the chance to finally eat the sweets you'd been without for forty days? Is forty days without pleasures harder for you to endure than one day without Jesus? Are you hungry to go back to the life you had before Lent, or are you hungry to receive the new dimension of risen life Jesus wants to give you? (Jn 10:10)

Prayer:  Jesus, apart from You, I can do nothing (Jn 15:5). You are my entire life (Phil 1:21).

Promise:  (none)

Praise:  (none)

Reference:  (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)

Rescript:  †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General Archdiocese of Cincinnati, August 14, 2007

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