In a less than fully awakened state this morning I clicked on the US Catholic Bishops’ website to check the readings for the day. I thought for a second that I had missed the mark on the small calendar box for today because what came up was entitled “Easter Sunday – the Resurrection of the Lord.” But of course, the readings are for tonight at “the Vigil in the Holy Night” to come. There is no Eucharistic Celebration on this day; Jesus remains in the tomb of our remembrance.
One could argue that my confusion was understandable. As I was coming to consciousness, my eye fell on the first reading for the vigil, the powerful story of creation in chapter one of the Book of Genesis. “Let there be light”, God said. “And there was light.” How fitting, I thought, as I moved my chair to escape the blazing sunlight coming through my window that was making it impossible for me to see the computer screen. The brilliance felt as if it was again the first day of creation. But again I realized I had skipped ahead. Having come late to this blogging task today, I had missed the moment when “the earth was a formless wasteland and darkness covered the abyss…”
So now I sit, ready to engage this day of mourning, hearing my favorite composer of modern liturgical music (Marty Haugen) sing, What shall we do between the times? It’s a long song, chronicling life in different seasons of our lives and realizing that those times are gone. The tone is one of longing and asking the above question at the end of each verse. Coming to the end of the song, however, there is a movement toward hope, a looking toward “the holy mountain” and the promise of the “not yet.”
That is the place where I hope to spend my day – in remembrance of all that has been of both faith and loss in my life, of this moment of stasis, recognizing the absence of Jesus who lies in the tomb, and of the hope that is possible because of the sun rising in our hearts, if only we will accept the responsibility that accompanies the miracle of rebirth.