HOLY SATURDAY BREAKFAST
Night is the period of ambient darkness from sunset to sunrise in each twenty-four hours,when the Sun is below the horizon. The exact time when night begins and ends, depends on the location and varies throughout the year. Night ends with the coming of morning at sunrise.
One thing about the night is that it gradually moves to the morning. The only thing that can dispel the night is the Light. When light comes, Night goes into extinction. The Night is neither perpetual nor enduring. It must be subdued with the coming of light. Night only comes when the Light is absent. Today’s night is special. Since Thursday and Friday, it looks as if the world is in chaos, because the King went into agony, He suffered, crucified , died and was buried; a point of no return. It was as if the King has fallen into an eternal sleep, everyone was afraid, the apostles dispersed in fear, the earth was held stand still, it was as if darkness is having the victory, the dead , the living, were in sober moment on what might be the outcome of this. The earth was shrouded in darkness, but like I said, night is not enduring, the beginning of the celebration of today’s celebration captures the scenario.
The Easter Vigil begins in Darkness
The Easter Vigil service begins in darkness. Every light is switched off. It was darkness then clanging in victory. It is like the darkness of the closed up tomb where Jesus’ body lay on Holy Saturday. The stone has been rolled in front of it. No light enters. It is utterly dark. At Holy Saturday, darkness begins, keeping everyone in fear and expectation, but the reign of darkness is momentary. As we proceed, Light comes. Just as “In the beginning, when God created the heavens and the earth, the earth was a formless void and darkness covered the face of the deep…” (Genesis 1:1-2a). In the beginning, all was a dark void. It is like the darkness of the Covid 19 pandemic scare that has kept the world in stand still; A situation where any ray of hope is extinguished in the vacuum of fear, of not knowing, of total emptiness. Then, It was still in the midst of this emptiness, God appeared and said, ‘Let there be light,’ and there was light…. God called the light Day and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, the first day” (Genesis 1:3,5). Just as in the Holy Saturday, darkness was just momentary and Light came and took the center stage. This gives me a lot of encouragement that there is still hope.
The Special Night
The Night though gloom it might look, always gives birth to the morning. It might be night but still a night unto glory. The Holy Saturday’s Exultet captures the power of this night. It has been gloomy, suffering, chastisement all these while but a night that leads to victory. The Exultet captures the special night:
This is the night, when once God led our forebears, Israel’s children, from slavery in Egypt and made them pass dry-shod through the Red Sea.
This is the night that with a pillar of fire
banished the darkness of sin.
This is the night that even now, throughout the world, sets Christian believers apart from worldly vices and from the gloom of sin, leading them to grace and joining them to his holy ones.
This is the night, when Christ broke the prison-bars of death and rose victorious from the underworld. Our birth would have been no gain, had we not been redeemed.
This is the night of which it is written: The night shall be as bright as day, dazzling is the night for me, and full of gladness.
O truly blessed night,
when things of heaven are wed to those of earth,
and divine to the human.
This night is blessed. Everything we do in the liturgy of today is simply a celebration of the passage from the past to the future, from old to new, from sadness to joy, from pains to suffering. The readings start from the Old testament, then to the New Testament after the Alleluia chant. Gloria is sung again, there is joy, good things are happening, the night is giving birth to something special and salvific. On this night, There is a baptism, which is also a birth to new life. We begin afresh a new the vows we made during our baptism, a sign of a rebirth. It is a night unto glory, that darkness has been conquered.
We might have been in darkness, it can be the darkness of sin, the darkness of despair, the darkness of the loss of someone dear to us, whose absence we fear we will never be able to deal with. The darkness of a terrifying diagnosis. The darkness of a shattering reality that we had no idea was coming our way, the darkness of covid 19, the darkness of betrayal, the darkness of total abandonment, Let us always seek for the Light. The world should approach the Light of the World to give light to the world again, just as all with the candles, is awaiting that glittering moment of resurrection. In the tomb we find the same reality–it is a dark void. Have you ever found yourself in complete, total darkness? It is like the journey of life. The Journey of life may begin in utter dismay, but never lose hope, the Light is coming. The darkness is not enduring. There is always hope. The night can be gloomy but can still be the way to a blessing. Look into your night, it can be a blessing in disguise.
We need to seek the light, and run away from the darkness of sin. What would our lives look like without God? The exultet says “How holy is this night, when wickedness is put to flight, and sin is washed away. It restores innocence to the fallen, and joy to those who mourn…Even in the darkness of our lives, darkness comes and goes like the night, we are reconciled to God. Our baptism is the sign of this reconciliation, when we are marked as Christ’s own forever.
Only those who remain in the night are those who have refused to embrace the Light, they are also those who have refused to let the past go , they are those who have refused to seek the Light. Let us come out of darkness and embrace the Light for our own good.
GOD BLESS YOU DEAREST
FR SANCTUS MARIO