Confused? Disoriented? Questions?
Was watching a video by Matthew Kelly in which he focused upon the reality of that first Holy Saturday—mainly, that there probably wasn’t anyone walking around going, “Hey, it’s going to be ok. Remember Jesus said that He would be back in three days and that all will be well, and darkness, sin and death would be no more.”
He pointed out that it probably wasn’t like that. Rather, it was probably that everyone was sitting around confused, disoriented and full of questions.
And it struck me that the reality of the first Holy Saturday is what we are all experiencing in the midst of our COVID-19 reality.
We, too, are confused, disoriented, and have lots of questions.
Is This The End of The World?
Many of us might be confused. I mean how can we not be when we are having a kazillion different “experts” telling us this, that and the other thing about preventive measures, how we can get COVID-19, the length of time we might have to “shelter in place”, and a vast number of other things associated with the COVID-19 life we are all now living.
And this leads to our disorientation. Anyone who has ever played a game of “Simon says” know how difficult it can be to follow directions properly when they are coming at you fast and furious—and that’s when it’s all in good fun.
But in our COVID-19 life, the actions we take in response to the directions we are being given are literally life and death. And with that stress only heightens our disorientation as we attempt to put some semblance of “normalcy” upon very different lives than most of us have ever experienced.
Lives in which we do not leave our homes. Lives where we do not have our myriad of activities and entertainments where gatherings of people were a significant part—like sporting events, church services, music concerts, dance clubs, going out to restaurants, celebrations and parties—just to name a few.
And when we do leave our homes, we experience mostly deserted streets and relatively empty stores and must practice “social distancing” lest we, too, become infected and bring the virus into our homes.
And that doesn’t even begin to touch upon the horror of the impact of this virus in homes, cities and states where COVID-19 is leaving death and devastation in its wake. Families and friends dead. Bodies of those dead being stacked like cordwood until it’s possible to bury them.
It most definitely can seem to be like the end of the world for us right now.
But it’s not.
How do I know?
The great gifts of Holy Saturday.
Desperately In Need Of Clarity, Focus and Hope
It appeared to be the end of the world for Jesus’s disciples on that first Holy Saturday, too. Jesus was dead, His followers scattered, and His closest disciples were confused, disoriented and afraid for their lives.
We, too, in our COVID-19 world, are confused. Confused by all the information we are being inundated by the news media, social media and everywhere else we get information. It is overwhelming.
We, too, are disoriented. Our routines are gone. Our normal patterns of interaction and engagement with one another are gone. It can be extremely disheartening, but even more so, disorienting as we are at a loss for how we should respond and move forward.
And we are afraid. Afraid to interact with one another for fear that we might catch the virus. Fear that our loved ones may become ill and die. Fearful that we will lose our jobs and not be able to care for our families. Afraid that there no cure or vaccine will be found, and that this will be our life forever.
But it wasn’t the end of the world for the disciples, and it’s not the end of the world for us.
And this is because of the great gifts of Holy Saturday.
Gifts, that when applied to our lives, but especially now during our COVID-19 lives, will give us clarity, focus and hope.
Gifts of Silence, Contemplation and Hope
You see, the great gifts of Holy Saturday are silence, contemplation, and peace.
For many of us, silence is difficult. Not just because our world doesn’t encourage it, but also because silence forces us to enter into our deepest hearts. And when we do, we encounter not just silence, but also the One who is silence.
And when we enter into His presence, we open ourselves to Him who is truth, goodness, beauty, and we are invited to enter into, and open ourselves to the depths of His wisdom, and in silence, we then discover clarity.
We know this is the case. How many of us, when given a moment’s silence, then suddenly discover a solution to a problem we have been wrestling with? Yet we resist it. But God, in His infinite wisdom, invites us to enter into silence today.
In silence, we also can experience contemplation. On this Holy Saturday, the Church not only waits in silence, but also directs our gaze to Jesus.
We are encouraged to fix our eyes upon Him who was pierced and who died for our sins.
And as we gaze upon Him who died for love of us, we gain a singular focus that nothing else in this world matters—except Him who loves us beyond measure, and how we can respond to this great love that exceeds the height of the mountains, the depth of the oceans, and the width and breadth of the skies.
And as we are experience clarity and focus, we then begin to be filled with hope.
Hope that just because we ourselves might be overwhelmed and confused, we can rely upon Him who dispels all confusion with the truth of His mere presence.
Hope that just because we may be disoriented in the darkness and can not see the path ahead, we can trust that the Lord will guide us with His clear vision of who we are and who we are destined to be.
Hope that in the midst of our fear and uncertainty, our Lord is still present to us in each and every moment, and that He will use all things in the world to bring about the good for those who love Him.
So “lean in” to Holy Saturday.
Embrace the great gifts that are present upon this day—the gifts of silence, contemplation and hope.
And know without a doubt that we will not be orphans, but will always have a home in the Communion of Saints—if we but say yes embrace the life God created us for.
Christina Semmens is a Roman Catholic author, speaker, and coach and host of the Say Yes to Holiness podcast. She currently lives in Fort Payne, Alabama where she strives to live out a life of authentic discipleship in the pursuit of holiness while empowering, teaching and accompanying others in striving to do the same.
If you want to learn more about how to embrace the life God created you for and discover more purpose, peace and abundance in your daily life, then plan to join me during the week of April 20th for the SAY YES TO HOLINESS TODAY Masterclass Workshop. To get more information, either send a direct message to @sayyestoholiness on Facebook, or send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can also Text to Join the email list by texting SAYYESTOHOLINESS to 66866 or sign up for the weekly Say Yes to Holiness newsletter here. You can also listen to the Say Yes to Holiness podcast or learn more about her ministry efforts at: www.sayyestoholiness.com and www.christinasemmens.com