Ezekiel 36:16-17a, 18-28
On this day, all is quiet. This day is broken by no liturgical function. Christ lies in the tomb. The Church sits near and mourns. We wait in holy darkness.
We wait and we reflect on all that has happened during this week:
How we waved palm branches to greet our Messiah as he entered Jerusalem; all our hopes wrapped up in him.
By Good Friday, however, we discovered that hope can have its dark side. When our hopes are crushed, we blame our spouse, blame our family, our boss or our nation’s president. When our hopes are shattered, we may even blame our God. Where were you when I needed you? What kind of God permits this suffering? Then we toss aside our palm branches. We may even join the crowd shouting, "Crucify him."
Yet, if we have courage to climb Calvary to die with the Lord, we can discover real hope; hope in God’s promise that in dying to our old self, we too will rise again to new life.
But, for now we sit by the tomb. We wait in holy darkness.
"Holy darkness, blessed night,
heaven’s answer hidden from our sight.
As we await you, O God of silence,
we embrace your holy night."
Deacon Manuel Valencia is on the staff at Mater Dolorosa Passionist Retreat Center, Sierra Madre, California.