Saturday, April 07, 2012

If People Die, Will They Live Again? A Meditation for Holy Saturday


7 Indeed there is hope for a tree. 
    If it’s cut down and still sprouting and its shoots don’t fail,   
8 if its roots age in the ground and its stump dies in the dust,
  9 at the scent of water, it will bud and produce sprouts like a plant.  
10 But a human dies and lies there;  a person expires, and where is he?  
11 Water vanishes from the sea;  a river dries up completely. 
 12 But a human lies down and doesn’t rise until the heavens cease;  they don’t get up and awaken from sleep.  
13 I wish you would hide me in the underworld, conceal me until your anger passes,  set a time for me, and remember me. 14 If people die, will they live again?    All the days of my service I would wait  until my restoration took place.    Job 14:7-14 (CEB)


 It is Holy Saturday.  We are living in the interim period of Holy Week.  Jesus has died and has been buried.  We know the story will continue, but did the followers of Jesus truly understand the message?  What were they thinking at this moment?  

Job asks the question:  "If people die, will they live again?  It is a question that is often on our minds, even if we say that the afterlife is no consequence.  What matters is the here and now.  But deep inside we wonder.  What happens next?  

Job is wondering.  Life has taken an unforeseen turn and he is wondering if life has meaning or purpose or value.  His world has been upside down, so is there going to be a restoration?  

The reflection for Holy Saturday found in Daily Feast: Meditations from Feasting on the Word, Year B(WJK, 2011) reads:

"Remember me," Job reminds God just a breath after he has pleaded with God to live him alone.  Someone kindles the fire of the Easter Vigil, and the disciples are comforted in the warmth of each other's arms.  Having paused the appropriate number of days, Mary Magdalene and the other sleepless women meet.  While it is still dark, they prepare all they will need to anoint and wrap the lifeless body of Jesus.  They prepare to visit the tomb where he is buried.  Job's question echoes as they step into the night.  "If mortals die, can they live again?"  If Jesus died, can he live again?  If Jesus died, can we live again?  And if we can, what will our lives become?   (Christina Braudaway-Bauman, Daily Feast B, 227)

The author of this reflection asks poignant questions about life -- that of Jesus as well as our own lives.  What will we make of our lives in the light of resurrection?  How shall we prepare ourselves for that possibility?  







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