Saturday, March 30, 2013
Holy Saturday: Keeping Vigil at the Tomb
I've witnessed the death of both of my parents. While much of the experience is a blur to me now, I have a very distinct memory of standing at the graveside next to each of their caskets, in those final moments before they were lowered into the ground. I still remember what it felt like; the final letting go of them. It was a singular low point, a death in and of itself, in my journey of grief.
Today is Holy Saturday, the middle day between the death and resurrection of Jesus. As I read Matthew's account of his burial, I noticed his reference to Mary Magdalene and the other Mary sitting across from the tomb and watching, while Joseph of Arimathea buried Jesus' body in the tomb.
I imagine them feeling some of what I felt at the graveside of each of my parents--the last dregs of energy drained from them as they watched Jesus' body laid to rest. Perhaps, deep within, they did believe and hope in his resurrection. Yet, they were human and more than likely felt that vacuous grief that one feels in death as they kept vigil at his tomb.
It requires courage to embrace the darkness of the tomb and let go. To enter the darkness of not knowing and accept the finality of the moment. To keep vigil with the two Marys. Holy Saturday.