preaching to the dead (1 pt 4:6)
"If Christ has not been raised, our preaching is void of content and your faith is empty too." —1 Corinthians 15:14
What did Jesus do between His death and resurrection? Did He just lay in the tomb? During the time Jesus was buried, "it was in the spirit also that He 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).
Because Jesus preached to the dead on what may be called the first Holy Saturday, we see that:
- Jesus is the only Way to the Father (Jn 14:6) and the only name by which we can be saved (Acts 4:12).
- Hearing and responding to preaching is necessary for salvation. "How can they hear unless there is someone to preach?" (Rm 10:14) We should not only hear and act on preaching but also pass it on.
On this Holy Saturday, identify with Jesus, especially with His preaching.
Prayer: Father, through the prayers of the Church, may many souls leave purgatory today and enter heaven.
Rescript: †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, October 21, 2014
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