HOLY SATURDAY REFLECTION:
LET US ACCOMPANY AND CONSOLE OUR LADY.
“They lower Christ from the Cross with love and veneration. With great care they lay him in the arms of his Mother. Although his Body is all wounded, his countenance is serene and majestic. Slowly and with piety we gaze at Jesus, as the most blessed Virgin would. Not only has he ransomed us from sin and death, but he has taught us to put the will of God above all personal plans, to live detached from everything, to know how to pardon, even when the offender has not repented, to know how to for give others, to be apostles until the very moment of death, to suffer without sterile lament, to love men although one is suffering because of them … Don’t hinder the work of the Paraclete: seek union with Christ, so as to be purified, and feel with him the insults, the spitting, the blows, and the thorns, and the weight of the Cross …, the nails tearing through the flesh, the agony of a forsaken death And enter through our Lord’s open side until you find a refuge there in his wounded heart (St. Josemaria, The Way, 58). There we will find peace. St Bonaventure speaks of this mystical life within the wounds of Christ. “O how good it is to be with Christ crucified! I wish to make three resting places in him. One, in the feet; another, in the hands; the third, perpetually in his precious side. Here I would like to rest and relax, to pray and to sleep. Here I will speak to his heart and he will grant me everything I ask. 0, how lovable are the wounds of our Holy Redeemer! … In them do I live, and from their special dishes do I receive sustenance (Prayer of St Bonaventure).”
The Body of Christ lay in the tomb. The world was in darkness. Mary was the only light still burning on earth…
We don’t know where the Apostles were that evening while the Body of Christ was being buried. Perhaps they were hovering around, disorientated and confused: aimless, distraught, filled with sadness. If we see them together again on the Sunday, united once more (cf Luke 24:9), it is because on the Saturday, or perhaps on the Friday evening, they had turned to Our Lady. With her faith, her hope and her love, she protected the nascent Church, still weak and startled. Thus was the Church born — under the mantle of Mary. Thus from the beginning has she been the Comforter of the afflicted, of those under pressure. This Saturday, when everyone fulfilled the festival day of rest as the law required (Luke 23:56), was not a sad day for Our Lady: her Son had stopped suffering. She serenely awaited the moment of the Resurrection: for this reason she did not accompany the holy women who went to embalm the dead Body of Jesus.
We ought always to have immediate resort to that endlessly burning light in our lives, which is the Blessed Virgin. And more so, if, on occasion, we have left Christ and found ourselves lost, having abandoned sacrifice and the Cross, as did the Apostles. She will bring hope back to us. Our Lady is rest for those who work, consolation for those who weep, medicine for the sick, a harbour for those assailed by tempests, pardon for sinners, sweet relief for the sad, succour for those who implore (St John Damascene, Homily on the Dormition of the Blessed Virgin Mary). Beside her we are able to live the immense joy of the Resurrection.”
-Excerpt from F. Fernández-Carvajal, In Conversation with God, vol. 2, 46.
“ALONGSIDE OUR LADY, in the light of her hope, the hearts of each of the apostles would have been enkindled. “What if all this is true?” perhaps they. “What if Jesus has really risen, as he promised?” In the past they had all been united around the Son. Now they would like to be close to his Mother. Mary may even have sent one of them to look for those who hadn’t turned up yet. She may have hoped to find Thomas to comfort his fear-filled heart. In the moment of trial, they were eager to turn to Mary, and “with her, how easy it is.”
We want to find a support for our faith in hers: especially when things become difficult, when moments of darkness come. Saint Bernard assures us from his own experience: “If the winds of temptation arise, if you trip on the stumbling blocks of tribulations, look to the Star, call on Mary.” God wants her to be for us an advocate, a mother, a sure way to find the light again in times of darkness.
Those who have recourse to the powerful intercession of our Lady know that it has never been said that anyone who trusted in her was left unaided, no matter how difficult the moment or how great the confusion in their heart. And we can say to Jesus: “In spite of the sadness we may harbor, we will feel that we must hope, because with you the Cross blossoms into Resurrection, because you are with us in the darkness of our nights; you are certainty in our uncertainties, word in our silences, and nothing can ever rob us of the love you have for us.” Close to Mary, mother of hope, our faith in the merits of her Son Jesus will grow strong once again.”
-Excerpt from Holy Saturday, opusdei.org
Mother Mary, as we commemorate the day after the Passion and Death of your Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ, we wish to accompany you, Mother, whom Jesus entrusted to us, in your grief and sorrow.
You were the only one who fully understood the suffering of your Son for you were the only one who is without sin among all creatures.
We wish to offer some relief and consolation to you and your Son with our firm resolve to struggle daily to be more faithful children of God and to put the means to fall in love more with Our Lord Jesus Christ.
We wish to repair for our sins and those of humanity, and through your intercession, advance in the path towards sanctity while co-redeeming with your Son in the ordinary activities of our daily life.
Pray for us, O holy Mother of God, and lead us to the safe port! Amen.
Stay safe always and God bless, Fr. Rolly Arjonillo
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