Morning Landscape with Mountain Lake,
Painted by Caspar David Friedrich (1774 - 1840),
Painted circa 1823-35,
Oil on canvas
© Sothebys’ London, 2 December 2018, lot 2, sold £2,5 million

Morning Landscape with Mountain Lake,
Painted by Caspar David Friedrich (1774 - 1840),
Painted circa 1823-35,
Oil on canvas
© Sothebys’ London, 2 December 2018, lot 2, sold £2,5 million

Gospel of 3 April 2021

Holy Saturday, Silent Saturday

Mark 16:1-8

When the sabbath was over, Mary of Magdala, Mary the mother of James, and Salome, bought spices with which to go and anoint him. And very early in the morning on the first day of the week they went to the tomb, just as the sun was rising.

They had been saying to one another, 'Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance to the tomb?' But when they looked they could see that the stone – which was very big – had already been rolled back. On entering the tomb they saw a young man in a white robe seated on the right-hand side, and they were struck with amazement. But he said to them, 'There is no need for alarm. You are looking for Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified: he has risen, he is not here. See, here is the place where they laid him. But you must go and tell his disciples and Peter, "He is going before you to Galilee; it is there you will see him, just as he told you."'

Reflection on the Painting

Most of you will read today's reflection at the beginning of Holy Saturday. I am sharing already the Gospel reading for tonight's Easter Vigil, yet I would like to reflect briefly on Holy Saturday itself… the hours before the Resurrection of Jesus. 

Today is not merely a day between Good Friday and Easter. It is a day of silence. Jesus is silent. The tomb is silent. There seems to be no hope, no movement at the tomb, no prospect. But in this silence something magnificent is being prepared. Silence is not absence! In the silence God was powerfully at work then, just as He is deeply at work in our own silence. 

Had Jesus been raised half an hour after His death, would we have appreciated it as much? If God were to answer our prayers half an hour after our petition, would we appreciate all He does for us as much? Patience and silence draw us nearer to Him…

I therefore just want to share with you a beautiful, calming morning landscape in all its majesty. Just nature in all its beauty, painted by Caspar David Friedrich. The fog on the lake will lift soon; soon the light of the day will shine through… soon the Risen Christ will shine His light upon us!… but first, a few more hours of silence…

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