Holy Saturday, which commemorates the moment Jesus Christ was entombed on the eve of his resurrection on Easter Sunday, is an occasion of “divine darkness” that speaks to our conscience and casts doubt on the foundations of Christianity, the Christian once said. late Pope Benedict XVI. .
“On Good Friday we still had the crucified man to look at,” wrote Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, as Benedict was known before he became Pope, in a March 2006 article titled “Three meditations on Holy Saturday: The anguish of an absence”.
“Holy Saturday is empty, the heavy stone of the new tomb covers the dead, everything is over, faith seems to have been definitively unmasked as fantasy,” Benedict said in the article, which was published a year after he became the head of the roman catholic church.
His point: “No God saved this Jesus who posed as his Son.” And yet, it is precisely with the crucifixion of Jesus that the Almighty expresses his solidarity with humans. “The darkest mystery of faith is, at the same time, the clearest sign of an endless hope,” the Pope wrote.
“And what is more: only through the failure of Good Friday, only through the silence of death on Holy Saturday, could the disciples be brought to the understanding of all that Jesus really was and all that his true meaning really meant. message,” he wrote. Benedict. “God had to die for them in order to truly live in them.”
Benedict referred to the famous 1882 statement from the German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche: “God is dead! And we have killed him!” As humans “encourage each other to begin preparing to take the place of God,” Benedict wrote, the “terrible mystery of Holy Saturday, its abyss of silence, has acquired a crushing reality in these days our”.
Unbeknownst to much of the world, the idea that God is dead “is taken almost literally from Christian tradition,” the pope wrote in his article. But we have also “killed it, locking it up in the stale shell of routine thought, banishing it in a form of piety without reality content, lost in the whirlpool of devotional phrases or archaeological treasures; we killed him through the ambiguity of our lives, which also put a veil of darkness over him.”
Holy Saturday, by far the least celebrated day of Holy Week, was particularly significant for Benedict, who was born and baptized that same day in 1927. In a 2006 book titled the saturday of historyco-authored with an abstract impressionist painter and Catholic convert named William Congdon, the pope urged believers to appeal to God like this:
“Wake up, do not let the darkness of Holy Saturday be endless, that an Easter glow also falls on our days… do not let us sink into darkness; don’t let your word drown in the jokes of these days. Lord help us, because without you we would perish. Amen.”