Saturday, April 23, 2011

Jesus Enters Into His Rest

Today Jesus is resting from His labor of love and redemption.

Just as the Father rested on the seventh day after creating the heavens and the earth, so Jesus sleeps in the tomb after recreating us.

We must spend this day in quiet, then. If we had a guest in our home who was still asleep when we woke up or a child who had just drifted off into a nap, we would move quietly to avoid disturbing them. So we must observe this day in silence so as not to disturb our Lord in His rest.

We also need to rest, to catch our breath from our observance of this Holy Week and from the rigors of our Lenten journey. We need to rest from the long proclamations of the passion on Palm Sunday and Good Friday, from the washing of the feet on Holy Thursday, from the hour that we spent keeping watch with the Lord and from walking the stations of the cross.

And we must rest in anticipation of the feast to come when our Risen Lord will be welcomed into His Church with candles, singing and the pealing of bells, when catechumens will be baptized, confirmed and given their first Holy Communion, when we will renew our baptismal vows and when the Spirit will rush into us anew empowering us to live for the things above, not the things below.

It is good for us to keep silence today. But it is not the silence of humiliation and defeat. Rather it is the silence of burgeoning life. It is the silence the roots make when they pierce the shell of the seed underground. It is the silence of the giant before he is aroused. It is the silence of musicians queuing themselves to sing a new song. It is the silence of our new life stretching its limbs and yawning. It is the silence of a Church and her Saviour about to fling open the doors and go out into the world to preach the good news that Jesus has conquered death.

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