The protagonist of a great and tragic book by Ernesto Sabato describes his life with this bitter statement: the walls of this hell will be more hermetic, more airtight, every day. They are the words of a man who destroyed his life, killing the woman he loved. They are words without hope, someone who sees that everything, in the end, is ruined by evil. An airtight hell, an inexplicable and obscure pain, that no one can share and understand. The real despair, in fact, springs from the thought of being alone with one’s evil. It is resigning to the fact that no one can break through that wall that I have built.
But it is right in front of this despair that Christ is moved. Before the tomb of Lazarus (Jn 11:35), the widow of Nain (Lk 7:13), the blind men of Jericho (Mt 20,34), the Samaritan woman (Jn 4:1- 54), he is moved in front of each person. It is Christ himself who, with passion, is breaking the hermetic walls of the physical and moral evil that we have made and suffered . It is he who brings a new life, a source of eternal life, in the deepest darkness of our existence. And many times he asks to be allowed to enter and bring light just where we ourselves do not want to look. He asks to open the tomb, even though Lazarus had a bad odor. He approaches the widow to the point of resting his hand on her son’s coffin. He touches the eyes of the blind to give him sight. He reveals to the Samaritan her sin to revive her hope. In Christ there is a desire that evil is shown so that it can be illuminated and overcome. To the extent that he enters between the walls of our evil, even in the most hidden and terrible corners, our lives can begin to be filled with hope, a hope without shadows. No evil is so terrible that it cannot be touched and redeemed by the victorious love of Christ.
It is the mystery of Holy Saturday. It is the mystery of Christ who for love of man descends to the dead, where everything is lifelessness and despair so that he can rise again and give the world a hope that is certain. In the resurrection, Christ becomes the definitive word over evil. In him the hermetic solitude that our lives can know is won. He is risen, therefore alive, and continues to act. In the encounter with Christ through the companionship of the Church, in the sacrament of confession, in the deep abandonment of prayer, it is possible to rediscover hope. His face can emerge from the fog thickened by our evil. And where I let Christ enter, life flourishes.
I saw this rebirth many times, in me and in many people I have met and known. I remember the words of a boy, marked by dramatic events in his family, that were so simple and radical: ever since I have met you, I have started to think about forgiving my father.
It is the encounter with the Risen Christ who gives life a new light, that breaks the wall of the solitude of evil, that resurrects hope in us.
(Duccio, «Discesa di Cristo al Limbo», Siena, 1311).