Silence. You may have noticed that the devotion posted for Good Friday had no content. It was silent. Maybe on Good Friday, Jesus, in some way experienced the silence of God. “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”
Today, Holy Saturday, there is a tradition that Jesus went down into hell and brought back with him the souls that were in hell. There are paintings of Jesus emerging from the fires of hell with streams of people following him. Thus even in his time of abandonment to the grave, he still found a way to do good, to help others, to defeat evil. Even if God was silent for him.
In recent days we have had a glaring portrayal of the way of Jesus and the way of the world, the contrast, brought home to us. Prominent politicians talk about building a wall to protect the United States. That’s one image. A worldly, fearful, self protecting image. This week, we have heard of Pope Francis washing the feet of immigrants at a center outside of Rome. He is ministering to the very people the wall is meant to keep out. That is an opposite image.
The Pope is following Jesus. Doing the good. Helping those most in need. Reaching out to those who feel marginalized. We think of Jesus, perhaps at his lowest moment, dead, choosing to visit hell to save the souls there. Is it so much to do that here on Earth?
Even when God seems silent, we can still choose to do the good and to follow the way of Jesus. And wait. For the silence will come to an end.
We pray for hearts open to the way of love, even when we ourselves face challenge and hardship. May we meet God in the faces of those who need us. Maybe it is we who need them. Amen.