It is now Holy Saturday, the last day in the Triduum. Jesus descended into Hell to redeem the world after His death on the cross yesterday. Jesus is not resting, He is redeeming! In some sense, today is a day of mourning. It is also a day of celebration as we know that tomorrow Christ will rise again from the dead and conquer death. Through His death and resurrection, He has redeemed the world.
Now, Jesus was placed in the tomb immediately after His death. Normally, the Jews would prepare the body with ointments and oils and herbs before burying the dead. However, since Jesus was crucified on Friday, and the Jewish Sabbath began at sundown Friday evening, there was no time to give Jesus the proper burial. He was rushed off to the tomb and laid and would be given the proper herbs and oils after the Sabbath was over.
The Jews followed the Sabbath to a t. They did not mess around. When God gave the 3rd Commandment “Thou Shalt Keep the Sabbath Day Holy”, the Jews were incredibly serious by not doing any work. As Catholic we are allowed to do some work. I for one enjoy doing yard work, and I find it relaxing. However, when I get frustrated and it starts to feel like work, I know that it is time to stop. Tomorrow, Mary and Mary Magdalene will go to prepare Jesus’ body for death properly.
Today in some regards we should consider a day of rest to some extent, as that is what the disciples and other followers of Jesus would have done today. It is not the Sabbath (ours is Sunday), so we are not required to rest all day like we are on Sunday, but it is encouraged. We can reflect on the Passion and how through Jesus’ Death and Resurrection, He has redeemed the world and allowed us access to Heaven. We should reflect more upon what it means to be Catholic as well as what it means to be a follower of Christ.
Many times we get it wrong. We get into a routine. We feel that “hey! Its okay if I do this, ya know, Jesus understands and its not a big deal”, but in reality, when we spend time to reflect on it, and ask ourselves the “what would Jesus do/think?”, we then realize, you know, this isn’t right. I need to amend my life.
Jesus died for us. Jesus also told us what we are to do and how we are to live our lives if we are to be true followers. We can give it our hardest and if we are indeed trying to follow His commandments, and when we fall we ask for forgiveness and when we sin we go to confession, we can rest assured that we are on the right path. However, if we make excuses for us and fall short, we put ourselves in a dangerous position. When we are not on the path to Christ and we die, we may end up in Hell. This is important to always keep in mind. God isn’t up in Heaven waiting for us to trip up so He can send us there. We freely choose Hell based on our actions.
God wants us to be with Him in Heaven. So, this Easter, let us take up our crosses so that we can join Jesus on Calvary. Let us know that through the Resurrected Christ, we have a shot of eternal salvation in Heaven. Let us be thankful, that Jesus is indeed the Messiah, and that through Him, we are able to conquer death and sin, and to achieve a level of holiness, never before seen.