On the first Holy Saturday, the disciples and Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Jesus did not know what was about to happen. They were in terrible grief, afraid, some perhaps ashamed or others angry at what had occurred. There was such total contrast between the Friday “tragedy” and the life Jesus had announced and demonstrated, the power of Jesus the miracle worker, the anticipation of importance as his followers and companions.

For us this day is very different. We are in a sort of rest period, between the Lenten introspection and its focus this year on Jesus as proclaimer of God’s mercy and our expectation of Easter’s joyful celebration. The apostles and Gospel women  experienced this entry in God’s Life and Spirit at Easter. We pause today to await what we already believe and have come to know—for us it is the promise of Life and Love forever.

—Fr. Jim Stoeger, S.J., a notable Jesuit educator, now serves as Vocation Director for the Chicago-Detroit and Wisconsin Jesuit provinces.