Holy Saturday 2022 Preaching by Sister Patricia Harvat, OP April 16, 2022 Holy Saturday is the in-between time of our lives. Similar to burying a loved one, there’s the reality of death and the truth of the Resurrection and the silence in between those two realities – the days, weeks, months and years. The Gospel of Luke reveals the women disciples living like us in that time of silence where one’s life continues – goes on – never in the same way, but it goes on. After hearing the message of the angel, “they hurried away from the tomb, confused and half fearful” until, as we will hear in the next Sunday’s Gospel, Jesus stood before them and said “peace.” The silence is ended. This narrative memory lives on in us. But we stand in a different place this day than any other time as we hear this story. The land we stand on in front of the empty tomb is dry, cracked, clay-like. It is as hard as racism, violence, a pandemic, and the destruction of war. It is a parched, thirsty land that has no voice. Martin Carter, a poet of the Caribbean best known for his poems of protest, resistance and revolution, expresses well our narrative memory of the resurrection today when he wrote: I bent down listening to the land and all I heard was tongueless whispering as if some buried slave wanted to speak again.* This Holy Saturday Christ’s wounds are imprinted in us with each step we take toward the tomb. These are not romantic stories we step upon. Our steps are upon the heart-breaking memories that cry out in lament of the broken body of Christ. We stand with Anastasha Shevchenko outside of her shell of an apartment building listening to her say, “I hear the bombs. I hear the windows breaking. What is left for me to do?” We stand with Leticia, an African American high school student preacher who paraphrases the words of Martin Luther King and says to us, “In the end I will remember not the words of my enemies, but the silence of my friends.” We stand with Katherine Beebe from Texas who writes, “My mother passed away in June 2021. My family endured furloughs, and contracting Covid. I didn’t think I would enter my senior year of high school motherless. I’ll miss not being able to tell her about my first date, her helping me pick out a dress for prom or waving goodbye as I leave for college. How will I know how to get stubborn stains out of my clothes? I’m scared. How will I get through the rest of my life without her?” This is the tomb we peer into with the women of Galilee and it is our faith that takes us beyond the finality of a cold, lifeless tomb. Our faith reassures us we can go on – that from that dry clump of clay and dirt, blocks of stone, new life has appeared – in the smallness of flowers of compassion, understanding, love, wisdom and friendship. Like those women, we too will retrace our steps back to our brothers and sisters in our world …the Anastashas, the Leticias and the Katherines who wait for us in hope of a different life because we have seen and believe in Jesus resurrected, awakening us to love, transforming us for the good . *From "Listening to the Land," in Poems of Succession , 1977 New Beacon Books.