And silence covers the earth. For the Warrior-Bridegroom is gone. Our sanctuaries lay bare, our sacraments are not celebrated except in the case of the dying, and there is a hush over the land because of the quiet expectation of Resurrection Sunday while all still mourning the loss of our Lord.
On Holy Thursday, the disciples received our Lord. Good Friday signaled the consummation of His love for us. But we were not the only ones waiting for His salvation. Through the mouth of the tomb, creation too received communion when He was laid in the tomb. When creation swallowed Him she remained in quiet contemplation for a day while meditating on how the Lord will redeem her through His Bride the Church.
And still there is more… Today, the Church speaks of how our Lord preached the good news of the Gospel to the Old Testament saints. They too wanted their opportunity to gaze upon their Lord and understand how He fulfilled all the covenant curses and blessings. Most of all, our Lord is preparing for His triumphant entry upon earth again. That accuser of the brethren could not have even dreamed how a simple act of murder would shatter his reign upon the earth through the very covenants he used to proclaim his reign.
In the silence of this Holy Saturday, our Lord is gathering the Army of God. Yeah, old scratch never saw this one coming. The devil spilled the blood of the prophets and the righteous in the Old Testament. The result? Our Lord proclaims:
I said to him, “Sir, you know.” And he said to me, “These are they who have come out of the great tribulation; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night within his temple; and he who sits upon the throne will shelter them with his presence. (Revelation 7:14-15)
For us, the adovah or work is about to begin. Because the Lord hallowed the first garden, that work or prayer became a liturgy. Our Lord lived all the ancient covenants that were formed through liturgies in His very person. So, we wait for the next liturgy that signals His triumph. Unlike most feasts, the Solemnity of the Resurrection does not begin at dusk. The Christ makes His appearance with the lighting of the Paschal Candle at the beginning of the Easter Vigil liturgy. With the thurifer censoring the way, we are reminded of how He led the Israelites through the desert by a pillar of fire by night and a pillar of smoke by day. We hear all the ancient covenants that worked towards our salvation. And then the liturgy goes silent in expectation…Like the parable of the 10 Foolish Virgins, the resurrection will happen suddenly and unexpectedly…and then the Bridegroom will appear.