Holy Week Thoughts – 20 April – Holy Saturday – Easter Vigil in the Holy Night
“Darkness is not dark for you and night shines as the day” (Ps 138:12)
St Augustine (354-430)
Father & Doctor of the Church
We who are mortal need to sleep to restore our strength and, therefore, we interrupt our lives with this image of death that yet leaves us at least some scraps of life. In the same way all those who live in chastity, innocence and fervour, prepare for themselves the life of angels, in exchange for this burden of death, they will receive grace in the eternal life… Now, my brothers, listen to these few words I want to tell you about this coming night that we are about to live through…
Our Lord Jesus Christ has been raised from the dead on the third day, no Christian doubts this. The Holy Gospels testify, that this event occurred during this night… It is not from light to darkness but from darkness to light that we struggle to emerge. The apostle Paul warns us: “The night is advanced, the day is at hand. Let us throw off the works of darkness and put on the armour of light” (Rom 13:12)… Hence we will stay up on this night when the Lord was raised and began, in His flesh, that life of which I spoke to you before, the life that has no death nor sleep. And the flesh that He raised from the tomb, will not die again or fall any longer under the law of death.
The women who loved Him came at dawn to visit His tomb, instead of finding His body they heard the voice of angels announcing His resurrection. No doubt then. that He was raised on the night before this dawn. Thus He, whose resurrection we celebrate during our long vigils, will make us reign with Him in an everlasting life . And even if, while we were watching, His body were still in the tomb and had not yet been raised, our watching would still have all its meaning, since He slept so that we might be awakened, He died so that we might live.