As we begin our Holy Saturday, the mood remains somber. This is a day of patient waiting. For Jesus’ followers, it is High Sabbath. No work can be done. The women, wishing to anoint the body of their friend must wait in obedience to the law and their tradition. Waiting isn’t easy. Obedience isn’t easy. Patient waiting, bending our will takes an act of faith. We prefer to be in control, to make our own plans, follow our own schedules, but this pandemic echoes the Holy Saturday message. We must wait, the time for following our own plans, doing what we want to do, is not yet. Instead, we too must wait patiently until it is the right time.
Ave Verum Corpus (Hail, True Body)
Hail, true body,
Born of the virgin Mary;
Who has truly suffered, slaughtered
On the Cross for humanity.
Whose side was pierced,
Pouring out water and blood.
Be a foretaste for us
During our ordeal of death
I believe in God,
the Father almighty,
Creator of heaven and earth,
and in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord,
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the Virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died and was buried;
he descended into hell;
on the third day he rose again from the dead;
he ascended into heaven,
and is seated at the right hand of God the Father almighty;
from there he will come to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy catholic Church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and life everlasting. Amen.
We don’t often think about it, but the Apostles Creed speaks to a very important part of our salvation history. We know that the sin of Adam and Eve closes the gates of heaven until Jesus’ saving action on the cross. But if we look closely, the Creed reminds us that Jesus “descended into hell.” Why would the Son of God descend into hell? Hell, or the netherworld, is clearly shown to not be beyond God’s reach. There is a powerful icon that shows Jesus ushering Adam and Eve out of the netherworld, holding their hands. His “Yes” redeems their sin, too. No one is beyond God’s reach. God extends His hand to each of us, it is up to us to accept and grasp His hand and allow Him to lead us out of the darkness into His Light.
As night draws near, we begin our Vigil. We bless fire and water and the Paschal Candle, the chief symbol of the light of Christ. We see how quickly the light from that single candle can brighten the Church. The Light of Christ dispels the darkness of sin and death.