A great silence

Daily Reading for April 3 • Holy Saturday

What is happening?

Today there is a great silence over the earth,

a great silence, and stillness,

a great silence because the King sleeps;

the earth was in terror and was still,

because God slept in the flesh and raised up those

who were sleeping from the ages.

God has died in the flesh, and the underworld has trembled.

Truly he goes to seek out our first parent like a lost sheep;

he wishes to visit those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death. . . .

And grasping Adam’s hand he raised him up, saying,

“Awake, O sleeper,

and arise from the dead,

and Christ shall give you light.”

“I am your God, who for your sake became your son,

who for you and your descendants now speak

and command with authority those in prison:

Come forth,

and those in darkness,

Have light,

and those who sleep:

Rise. . .

“I command you:

Awake, sleeper,

I have not made you to be held a prisoner in the underworld.

Arise from the dead; I am the life of the dead.

Arise, O man, work of my hands,

arise, you who were fashioned in my image.

Rise, let us go hence;

for you in me and I in you,

together we are one undivided person.”

From an ancient homily for Holy Saturday, quoted in Seeking Life: The Baptismal Invitation of the Rule of St. Benedict by Esther de Waal (Collegeville, Minn.: Liturgical Press, 2009).

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