Holy Saturday—Waiting Patiently


We all have an idea about the toil and ultimate sacrifice that our Lord made for us on Good Friday, when darkness covers the earth. We await the risen Christ who appears to us on Easter Sunday, bringing forth the fulfillment of His promises to us. But what about that day in between, Holy Saturday? What can we take away during this time of the unknown?

If you’ve gone through the process of taking a “leap of faith” into a world of the unknown, you can probably relate to the restlessness and uncertainty of what lies ahead. It is with this lens that we can come to understand what Holy Saturday means to the fabric of our lives. The recovering addict sheds the pain—along with the perceived security—of her addictions when she makes a decision to seek help. With it comes doubt that change can occur, questions regarding whether or not our Lord even has an interest in our recovery, and fear that we may be abandoned in the process.

Intellectually, I have come to know that Jesus died so that my sins may be forgiven. He has come to bear the burden of this world so that we may be granted eternal life. However, when He says, “Behold, I make all things new,” (Revelation 21:5) I can’t help but question if He really means that He will be present in my life. So in touch with my own limitations and transgressions, I make the case that I’ve gone too far into the darkness to be redeemed. My human shortcomings lead me to think that if I take the leap He is asking me to, there may not be a net below to catch me if I fall.

We make room for God, navigating our lives according to His will the best we know how. Then we wait. We wait more, juxtaposing the ideas that we are open to whatever may come along with doing His will while really hoping that His plan and our plans collide. I tend so often to add amendments to Mary’s original proclamation, “Let it be done to me according to your will,” as I add, “…And let it be done quickly, painlessly, and as similarly to my own plans as possible!”

The wait we experience after the death of Christ on Holy Saturday as we anticipate his resurrection on Easter can bring us closer to those moments where we’ve longed (or are longing) for hope to transform into reality. The Catholic Church proclaims that upon His death, Christ descended into hell (Ephesians 4:9-10) and on the third day He rose again. His descent to bring life to those who have already passed can be likened to his act of taking on the sins of the world, although he was blameless. As a recovering alcoholic and drug addict, that not only means that He does know my pain and temptations, but that He was willing to take on my experiences so that He may redeem me and journey together with me.  He descends into the darkness, telling me and all of us, “You have never gone too far.”

Let us hold on to that as we wait patiently.

What are you waiting for that should be turned over to the care of God?

In what ways are you amending God’s will, asking that it be done “quickly, painlessly, and consistently with your will?

Photo Credit: Juan Carlos Pachón