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Saturday March 30, 2024

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Holy Saturday

(no Eucharistic readings)

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“He is not here.” —Luke 24:6

I am sitting in my parish church on Holy Saturday morning, awaiting the recitation of Morning Prayer. The tabernacle is empty, with its doors wide open. The altar is likewise empty and stripped. No Easter flowers are visible; the statues are covered over. The sanctuary candle is not lit.

I know in my heart and mind that this evening, the Church will be beautifully decorated for the glorious Easter Vigil. Yet this morning’s emptiness is an essential component of the Triduum.

This morning we experience starkly the first half of the Easter proclamation by the angel in the Garden: “He is not here” (Lk 24:6). However, we have not yet experienced the second part of that proclamation, “He has been raised up” (Lk 24:6).

This morning we experience the emptiness before the glory. In a way, our life on earth can be compared to Holy Saturday morning. We are not yet with Jesus in eternity. We are waiting in vigil. We know by faith that eternal life is awaiting us, yet Jesus no longer walks on this earth as a man. And so, in emptiness, we wait for His fullness.

Let this morning’s emptiness be a rich part of your day today. Be emptied of this world’s desires (1 Jn 2:15-16). Be emptied of the desire for mammon, the things of this world (Mt 6:24). Be empty, so Jesus can give you life “to the full” (Jn 10:10).

Prayer:  Father, soon Jesus’ tomb will be empty and we will rejoice with exultation. Until tonight, I will embrace in hope the emptiness of a day without Your Son’s Eucharistic presence, rather than running to the empty pleasures of this world.

Promise:  (none)

Praise:  (none)

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

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