preaching god's word to the dead
"I put my hope in Your word." —Psalm 119:74, JB
Yesterday, there was no Mass anywhere in the world; however, we were able to receive Holy Communion. During the day today, there is no Mass or Communion on this planet earth. We are identifying with the burial of Jesus by being deprived of His eucharistic presence.
The primary presence of Jesus in the world on Holy Saturday is not the Word-made-Flesh in Communion (see Jn 1:14), but simply the Word. During the time Jesus was buried, we know of only one thing He did. In the spirit, Jesus "went to preach to the spirits in prison" (1 Pt 3:19). "The reason the gospel was preached even to the dead was that, although condemned in the flesh in the eyes of men, they might live in the Spirit in the eyes of God" (1 Pt 4:6). Jesus preached His lifesaving Word to the dead so that they could believe in Him (see Rm 10:17) and so enter into everlasting life.
Spend this Holy Saturday immersed in God's Word and therefore in God's presence. Read the nine readings and psalms for tonight's Easter Vigil. May our whole day be a liturgy of the Word which will culminate in the celebration of the Easter Vigil. Then tonight, may we recognize the risen Jesus in the breaking of the bread (Lk 24:31).
Prayer: Jesus, may I bathe in Your Word today (see Eph 5:26).
Rescript: †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, October 31, 2011
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