The Holy Week Story – Saturday

Women at the Tomb by sculptor Peter Lupori

Holy Saturday Reflections

Read Matthew 27:57-66

So Joseph took the body and wrapped it in a clean linen cloth and laid it in his own new tomb, which he had hewn in the rock. He then rolled a great stone to the door of the tomb and went away.  Mary Magdalene and the other Mary were there, sitting opposite the tomb.  Matt. 27:59-61

Up through the death of Jesus, males have dominated the story of Holy Week: Judas, Peter, Caiaphas, and Pilate.  It is what one would expect in a male-dominate society.  However, at the cross, the focus shifts to women.  Mary, the mother of Jesus, is at the cross. Mary Magdalene and the other Mary watch from a distance.  Though Jesus’ inner circle has fled, some of the women followers stay close by.  They watch not only the crucifixion, but also where he is buried.  After the sabbath is over, women will be the first to go to the tomb.

Earlier in the gospel Jesus had instructed the disciples to “Stay awake and pray that you may not come into the time of trial; the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak. (Matthew 26:41).  At the risk of sounding sexist, for whatever reason, women seem better able to fulfill this task than men.   Perhaps men feel the need to act, to perform, to do something.  Perhaps women know that sometime you simply wait, trusting in God, a kind of pregnant waiting, knowing that change is happening beneath the surface. 

Holy Saturday is a day of pregnant waiting.  God is at work, beneath the surface, behind the tombstone.  Soon, very soon, everyone, male and female, will see the hand of God at work.

How is waiting difficult or challenging for you?  What practices helps in waiting for God?

Prayer: Lord, teach me to be patient, to wait for your good work, to trust in your timing.

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