I'm making a departure on this, the last day of Lent. The reading for this day is actually an Easter reading, and, well, I'm just not ready for the resurrection "quite" yet...it's only Saturday.
There is a wonderful old hymn that we always used to sing on Easter when I was growing up. I think the first two verses capture the essence of this day so well:
Low in the grave He lay, Jesus, my Savior!
Waiting the coming day--Jesus, my Lord!
Vainly they watch His bed, Jesus, my Savior!
Vainly they seal the dead--Jesus, my Lord!
During family prayer this morning, we talked about how we, as modern-day Christians, have the benefit of knowing the "rest of the story." We know what's coming tomorrow! But those first disciples did not. All they knew was that their Master was crucified, put into a tomb, and, for all they knew, they would be next on the Pharisees' hit list. That Saturday was a quiet day of mourning and contemplating what the future might hold for each of them.
But..."It was not possible that He should be holden of death." Acts 2:24 Thanks be to God!
Tonight is the Easter Vigil, which really begins Easter in the Catholic Church. We will begin the evening in complete darkness. Then, those who are to be baptized and/or received into the Church tonight, will enter with candles. As we progress through the evening, readings from the Bible will progress from the sin in the garden to Christ's crucifixion. And, of course, to the resurrection. Light will flood the church as we celebrate Christ's triumph over death and darkness. Bells will ring. We will witness the baptisms, confirmations, and first reception of communion, of those who are coming into Christ and the Church. It is a glorious occasion. And after our Lenten season without it, we will once again declare, "Alleluia!" The Mass ends around midnight, which is truly the beginning of Easter. An amazing time of rejoicing.
Thank you to all who have joined me on this Lenten journey...especially to Pat who has been so faithful! This has really been a good discipline for me, too. One I would like to continue, if I can find the time.
God bless you all...I'll be here again tomorrow! Join me on our day of great celebration!
My offering to God: Today I will give thanks and praise to the Lord for all He has done for me.