Saturday, April 19

Posted by Laurel Garver on Saturday, April 19, 2014 8 comments
Holy Saturday Mourning
by Sr. Genevieve Glen, OSB

The fisherman had aged, they saw, when dawn
at last broke through that endless night.  He had
no words to strengthen them, his bluster gone
to silence. One by one they came. Grief bade
them gather there. The shadowed room was clad
in memories. Furtive eyes sought out the spot
where He had stood.  The big man’s shame burned hot.
The One with whom he’d sworn to die was dead.
And he was not.

©2011, Abbey of St. Walburga, 

painting by Carl Heinrich Bloch
This poem shows us Simon Peter in the time following Jesus' crucifixion. All his hot-headed desire to create an uprising has been quashed. He is a revolutionary quelled, struggling to come to grips with what has gone wrong.

Knowing what we do about Peter's actions in the preceding days, I can only imagine the depth of his grief and his even deeper confusion. Peter adamantly opposed Jesus every time he spoke of his death. He attacked one of the guards who came to arrest Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane. He then followed to where Jesus was being held, hoping for news, but perhaps also staking out the place in order to try another violent rescue.

But bravery fails him. He denies Jesus, we're told. But perhaps there's some truth in his declaration: "I never knew the man." Because Jesus didn't turn out to be the fiery revolutionary many were hoping could come and overthrow Rome. As Peter came to grips with the truth of where his hopes really lay, he was devastated.

This Jesus wasn't going to foment a rebellion. He had another plan entirely. A completely insane one: To lay down his life.

Holy Saturday is a good time to sit in this space with Peter. To come to grips with the frailty of our plans and dreams. To let the wrong sorts of dreams die so that God's dreams for us in the world can be awakened.

Wishing you all a blessed Easter!

What about Peter's life and story resonates with you?

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  1. So powerful! Thank you for sharing this.

    1. You're welcome. Thanks for coming by. Have a wonderful Easter.

  2. That I think I can do it on my own, but I can't.

    1. Peter definitely had a lot of trouble trying to push his own agenda forward on his own, didn't he?

      Wishing you a wonderful Easter.

  3. Jesus's mission was far more revolutionary, and counterintuitive, and took incredible courage.

    1. Absolutely. Jesus' self sacrifice goes against all our natural inclinations and logic. I'm thankful that Peter's misunderstanding is included in these narratives--because even those who walked with Jesus found him pretty confusing at times.

  4. Peter's life inspires me. He had failed Christ, and by that failure, he was determined to redeem this. Peter lived a strong and devoted life to preaching a risen Christ. Many came to faith. At his own crucifixion, Peter demanded to be crucified upside down, as he wasn't worthy.

    What a message.

    Happy Blessed Easter! Christ is risen.

    1. He is risen indeed! Peter's story is a very encouraging one. He misunderstood and failed, yet came out the other side transformed.