Saturday, April 23, 2011

Holy Saturday: From Glory to Glory

Christ is in the tomb, and we are with Him today in the mystery of His silence. We go about the day, with our routines and our business, preparing for tomorrow's Easter meal with family. Some of us watch a hockey playoff game. We live our lives on Holy Saturday, the time "between" the victory of Christ's glory on the Cross and the manifestation of the fullness of that victory in the Resurrection.

The glory is already manifest on the Cross. The Beauty that saves the world is radiant here, in this event, in the revelation of Jesus the Son embracing the depths of every sin and every horror and every violence against God and man, and doing so as an expression of His love for the Father. Jesus loving the Father in His final breath, gives up His Spirit--He sends forth the Spirit from the Cross into the world and inside the secret depths of every human person who ever lives. The event of the Cross is the great Icon of the mystery of the Trinity, an event which manifests and communicates the eternal love of the Father and the Son that breathes forth and is the Spirit, the mystery of Trinitarian communion, of Love, of the reality that "God is Love."

The Cross is the definitive revelation of Divine Love, and therefore the definitive unveiling of transcendent Truth, Goodness, and Beauty; the opening up of the mystery that is inscribed on every human heart. Jesus is glorified right there, in the moment of His total self-abandoning surrender to the Father in the Spirit unto death, encompassing and even going beyond--immeasurably beyond--every sin in the regenerating energy of His obedient love. Does not Jesus say it Himself in the Gospel of St. John: "Father, the hour has come! Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you" (John 17:1). The Glory of the Cross. Jesus dies for our sins, but He dies first and above all because He loves the Father. He dies to make present in history, to reveal, and to communicate the glory of God's love. God is Love. And for this reason He loves each one of us.

Baptism has given us a share in His redeeming death. The glory has already begun in us. Faith recognizes that our life is a Holy Saturday, in which we are sown deep in the earth with Christ, in which we give ourselves in love so as to break open in that earth and go beyond ourselves and bear fruit, coming forth from the ground, breaking beyond death through love--Christ's love in us--awaiting, anticipating, beginning even to taste the fruit: the coming Resurrection, the promise of Eternal Life.

God is Love. God loves us. God has made us out of love and for love. God had come to save us, so that we might be empowered to love, to love Him, to share in His love, to give His love to one another. Thus God's love is glorified, revealed and given in its radiance, its beauty.

We live our lives on Holy Saturday, aware of the glory of the Cross through faith and love, moving forward to the glory of the Resurrection in hope. Our daily life is vivified by the hope of Glory.