Saturday, March 31, 2018

is God asleep?

"There is a scene in the Gospel that anticipates the silence of Holy Saturday in a stimulating way and thus also appears as a portrait of our historical hour. Christ is sleeping in a boat about to sink for being battered by the sea. The prophet Elijah had once mocked the priests of Baal who were screaming loudly and futilely to their god to supply fire for the sacrifice by saying that their god was probably sleeping; they might have to call more loudly in order to wake him.. But is God not really sleeping? Does the jibe of the prophet not finally find its mark in the believers of the God of Israel who are traveling with him in a sinking boat? God sleeps while his affairs are about to sink - is that not the experience of our own lives? Do the Church and the faith not appear like a little sinking ship that uselessly struggles against wind and waves while God is absent?

The Apostles in utter despair shake the Lord and cry out to waken him, but he appears surprised and scolds them for their lack of faith. Is it any different for us?

When the storm has passed, we will recognize how foolish our faint-hearted faith was. And yet, Lord, we cannot do otherwise than shake you, the silent, sleeping God, crying out to you: Wake up - don't you see that we are sinking? Wake up, don't let the darkness of Holy Saturday last forever, let a gleam of Easter fall in our day too. Go with us when we walk despondently to Emmaus so that our hearts may be enkindled by your nearness. You who, in hiddenness, guided Israel's path, until finally you were a man among men, don't leave us in darkness; don't let your Word be drowned in the prattle of these days. Lord help us, for without you we would perish. Amen."

                                                          -  Pope Benedict XVIfrom Magnificat, March 2018

Christ Asleep in His Boat, by Jules Joseph Meynier