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The expectant pause of Holy Saturday

All mothers go through seasons of waiting, each as distinct as the woman herself. Whether a woman is waiting to conceive, waiting through the long months of pregnancy for the birth of a child, waiting for an adoption placement, or going through any other season of endurance, patience and a stubborn perseverance are necessary parts of becoming a mother.

A season of waiting that is especially relevant during the Triduum is that of a pregnant mother about to have a child, one of many parallels between a mother giving birth and Christ’s Passion and Resurrection.

In the last months of pregnancy, as a mother awaits the coming birth while enduring the pains of third trimester, she seems to walk beside Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane: “Father, if You are willing, let this cup pass from Me; yet not My will, but Yours be done” (Luke 22:42).

The trials of labor, meanwhile, recall Christ’s Passion, as the laboring mother seems to physically embody Christ’s words, “This is my body, given up for you” (Luke 22:19).

These experiences require extreme physical endurance and stamina. But the seasons of quiet waiting, which appear so much easier on the surface, call for a steadfast resolve of their own.

Waiting can be very hard. During seasons of waiting, things might seem hopeless. There is an emotional agony in not knowing if things will work out, or when they will happen.

Such doubts and fears were very much present on the first Holy Saturday, too. We read in Scripture that the disciples were hiding behind locked doors, for fear of being executed as Christ had been (John 20:19).

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