I am going to share with you bits of a reflection that I found to be very helpful in thinking about Holy Saturday:
Holy Saturday is one of most important moments of Holy Week - it speaks most directly to the daily reality of our lives. After the shock of death or words that bring despair (such as "cancer," "divorce," "terminal," "sorry, but we have to eliminate your position"), we have to begin living with the "what next?" as we enter the void of unknowing.
Most of us live, from time to time, in Holy Saturday. We experience the jubilation of Easter and the stark pain of Good Friday, but those are immediate and momentary. Holy Saturday is the time in between death and resurrection, fear and hope, pain and comfort. Holy Saturday is the valley of grief and uncertainty, for us and for Jesus' first disciples.
On Holy Saturday, we don't know what the future will bring. We don't know if the cancer can be cured or if we will love again or find the position that fulfills our vocation.
It is difficult for us to experience Holy Saturday during Holy Week. After all, we've read the story; we know that there's a happy ending—resurrection and new life! Christ is risen! Christ is risen indeed! This luxury wasn't available to Jesus' first followers. All they had was the hope that somehow their Teacher and Savior would live on in their hearts and imaginations.
But, we can still share the journey of the first Christians. Perhaps, put yourself in the shoes of one of the first disciples on Holy Saturday—Peter, Thomas, John, Mary Magdalen, Mary or Martha of Bethany, Jesus' mother Mary. Visualize yourself as one of them: see your life situation in light of the cross, feel your loss at Jesus' hideous death, feel your sense of uncertainty, feel the unknown that lies before you.
And then, because we do have the privilege of knowing the ending, prepare your heart for the Resurrection!
This evening, after the sun goes down and it is liturgically Sunday, we will celebrate the Easter Vigil – where we will profess our faith in the Creed along with our newly baptized brothers and sisters, and we will partake in the Eucharistic sacrifice – the unbloody reenactment of Calvary.