We sat in the low lights of the living room Friday night, the four of us, my family, after dinner, and spoke of the day, of the hours that we had remembered from the Passover Seder on Thursday, the ascent to the Garden upon leaving Jerusalem, the long night of prayer, the trial before daybreak, and then the hours on the cross on Friday. . .
The third hour. From the sixth hour to the ninth hour. The ninth hour. And finally, the evening hour, when the Day of Preparation began.
We spoke of Joseph of Arimathea. We spoke of the coming hours. Let us be quiet for one another tomorrow, we said. Keep the tv and music low if you must, turn on a light if you will, but be mindful so that if others are called to prayer. . .
So, i am with you for a few minutes this morning my Thoughtful Friends. The house is quiet. It is Saturday. The Day of Preparation.
In the house of grief, the women have stopped breathing. All housework has been completed. Meals are already prepared. On the table, by the door, the jars of ointment and spices wait. Their men have gone to the yard or to the work shop, where they sit quietly (for it is forbidden to work on the Sabbath), salted tear trails on their cheeks running into their beards. The synagoge seemed cold in the morning light. The rabbi hollow. Promises aborted before they had barely begun.
In the house of grief, we find that what we thought would never happen has. What we held dearest has been ripped from our grasp. We are gut sore from wailing, we are hoarse with tears. We are first writhing in fire, and then cold, empty, and numb.I think of Peter's wordless grimace as he falls to the threshold of his home, howling soundlessly as a cateract of rain falls loudly outside the door.
Could this be. . .the hour of Preparation?
A preparation that is . . . stripping down to nothing, the vast emptying of dreams, the deluge of releasing everything. . .and everyone. . .each one of our small, self-serving, delusional hopes. . .for something. . .more.
Is this preparation making room for something more?
Remember, I said to my daughters last night, when the Saturdays of your tomorrows come, and mommy and daddy may not be there, always remember. . .Sunday's coming.