preaching god's word to the dead
Yesterday, there was no Mass anywhere in the world; however, we were able to receive Holy Communion. 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 life-saving 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 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).
Nihil Obstat: Reverend Edward J. Gratsch, October 10, 1995
Imprimatur: †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, October 13, 1995