Mary Magdalen and Mary the mother of Joses saw where he was laid. (Mark 15:47)
For this day, Holy Saturday, Walter Wangerin suggested this message to Mary Magdalen as though it was from God. I want to share it with you all…
Even in your despair, observe the rituals. It is the Sabbath; then let it be the Sabbath after all. Pray your prayers. However hollow and unsatisfying they may feel, God can fill them. God is God, who made the world from nothing—and God as God can still astonish you. He can make of your mouthings a prayer—and of your groanings a hymn. Observe the ritual. Prepare your spices. Return on Sunday, even to this scene of your sorrow, expecting nothing but a corpse, planning nothing but to sigh once more and to pay respects.
One story is done indeed, my Magdalene. You’re right. You’ve entered the dark night of the soul.
But another story—one you cannot conceive of (it’s God who conceives it!)—starts at sunrise. And the empty time between, while sadly you prepare the spices, is in fact preparing you! Soon you will change. Soon you will become that holy conundrum which must baffle and antagonize the world: a saint. Saint Mary Magdalene. “As dying, and behold we live; as punished, and yet not killed; as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing all things”—that host of contradictions, the beauty of Spirit, the puzzle of all who know him not, the character of the saints!
Come again on Sunday, Mary, and see how it is that God makes saints. Come, follow.Wangerin Jr., Walter (1992). Reliving the Passion: Meditations on the Suffering, Death, and the Resurrection of Jesus as Recorded in Mark. (p. 152). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.