22 March 2008

holy saturday

When the Word through whom the entire cosmos was uttered into existence at last fell silent upon the cross, his body was taken down, wrapped in cloth (as at his birth), and laid in a tomb. And in the utter silence of death, God spoke his saving Word into the Grave itself.

Hans Urs von Balthasar writes (from Mysterium Paschale, my translation):
Now for the first time, the Redeemer is a co-partner with the dead, or, better, with death itself, which makes of the dead the entire reality of dead human beings – this is the final result of the redemptive mission he received from the Father. His being-with-the-dead is an existence at the highest pitch of obedience, and because this One who is in this way obedient is the dead Christ, it constitutes a "cadaver-obedience" (Francis of Assisi’s term) of a theologically unique kind. By it Christ existentially measures all that is absolutely contrary to God, the entire object of divine eschatological judgment, here grasped in that event in which it is "cast down"...At the same time, however, this event measures the Father’s mission in its full breadth: this "exploration" of Hell is an event of the (economic) Trinity.