Because Jesus once died descended into hell before rising from the dead on the third day?

Homiletics of the Fathers of The Island of Patmos

- homiletics -

WHY JESUS ​​ONCE DEAD DESCENDED TO HELL BEFORE RISING FROM THE DEAD ON THE THIRD DAY?

Before the resurrection something happens that many fail to understand and that others, unfortunately, they just don't know: Christ, once dead, descends into the underworld. St. Paul the Apostle writes: “He had descended into the lower regions of the earth. He who descended is the same who also ascended "

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Author:
Gabriele Giordano M. Scardocci, o.p.

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Dear brothers and sisters,

Beato Angelico, Christ enters the underworld by breaking down the door and crushing a demon under it

happy Easter! After the Lenten journey, the Lord allows us to reach the awaited goal of his resurrection, on which our faith is founded and is based [See. The Cor 15, 14]. Truly today we all gather in Jesus and in him we are all united and joyful. Easter is truly the transition from the slavery of sin, of darkness, therefore of sadness and uncertainty to the liberation of joy, of the happiness of the certainty of the resurrection.

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Before the resurrection something happens that many cannot understand, others unfortunately do not know at all: Christ, once dead, descends into the underworld. St. Paul the Apostle writes: “He had descended into the lower regions of the earth. He who descended is the same who also ascended " [If the 4,10]. In this regard, he teaches the Catechism of the Catholic Church to numbers 632-637:

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«The Scripture calls hell [cf.. the 2,10; At 2,24; AP 1,18; If the 4,9] the place of the dead where the dead Christ descended, because those who are there are deprived of the vision of God [cf.. Will 6,6; 88,11-13]. Such indeed is, waiting for the Redeemer, the fate of all the dead, bad or righteous [cf.. Will 6,6; 88,11-13]; which does not mean that their fate is identical, as Jesus demonstrates in the parable of poor Lazarus welcomed into "Abraham's womb" [See. LC 16,22-26]. "It was precisely the souls of these righteous awaiting Christ who were freed by Jesus who descended into hell" [Roman Catechism, 1, 6, 3: and. P. Rodriguez (Vatican City-Pamplona 1989) p. 71]”. Jesus did not descend into hell to free the damned [cf.. Council of Rome (year 745), Christ's descent into hell: DS 587] nor to destroy the hell of damnation [cf.. Benedict XII, When the petition since a long time (1341), 18: DS 1011; Clement VI, Letter on some (year 1351), (c). 15, 13: DS 1077] but to free the righteous who had preceded him [See. Council of Toledo IV (year 633), Chapter, 1: DS 485; Mt 27,52-53].

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Now let's see the readings of this Liturgy of the Word [cf.. WHO]. On Easter morning the witnesses of the Passion, with his heart still overwhelmed by the dramatic events, make a surprising discovery. Mary of Magdala first goes to the tomb. Imagine the scene of that walk: the affectionate friend of Jesus is with a dismayed heart swollen with sadness for what had happened just two days earlier. Just arrived at the door of the sepulcher, one realizes that the body of Jesus has disappeared.

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"They have taken the Lord out of the tomb and we know not where they have laid!» [GV, 20,2].

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Peter and John are also warned. But, says the gospel, they had not yet understood that Jesus had to rise from the dead; although Giovanni, who enters the tomb after Peter, he saw and believed. The faith of the two apostles in this prodigious event remains: despite not understanding everything immediately. Jesus had repeated it to him several times, that he would be crucified and then resurrected. And yet they themselves struggle to believe and understand.

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It is also a little bit’ the situation of all of us today. We believe in the mystery of the resurrection, but we struggle to get into it. Perhaps because we have not met Jesus risen, but his Resurrection has been holyly handed down to us. Or perhaps because there is a simpler reason. Because we have lost the training to pray, contemplate and meditate on these divine mysteries. Overwhelmed by the speed of life today, from messages social, from the pressing work, from the book releases we have a little’ put the important things in the attic. We too imitate the unbridled rush of Peter and John. But unlike the apostles we do not run to the risen Jesus, but towards a thousand distractions. Beyond what they already are.

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On this Easter 2021, then let's try to stop on these verses of the Gospel. We enter into the perspective of the Resurrection, which is the action of rising with Christ. The resurrection for us already begins today, if we orient ourselves to re-reading every event with the view of the resurrected. That is, with a view to no longer living as men destined to die, but as believers destined to die and then live eternally. So let us make St. Paul's invitation our own when he says:

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"Brothers, if you are resurrected with Christ, look for the things above, where is Christ, sitting at the right hand of God; turn your thoughts to the things above, not to those of the earth ". [With the 3,1]

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Think about the things up there obviously it does not imply living in a continuous state of metaphysical visionaries or lost in some sort of trance induced mysticism. Looking for the things above means trying to live our faith concretely and daily. Which is faith because it becomes a life of holiness. Pietro and Giovanni, as we will see in the coming Sundays, they will explain the empty tomb because they will see the risen Jesus. A quel point, they will be the first witnesses of the joyful event of Easter; the apostles, that without the fear that had made them flee before the Passion, they transmitted this extraordinary event to us. Peter offers us his testimony, when in the first reading of the acts he says:

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«[…] God consecrated Jesus of Nazareth in the Holy Spirit and power, […] They [the Jews] they killed him by hanging him on a cross, but God raised him up on the third day and wanted him to manifest, not to all the people, but to witnesses chosen by God, to us who ate and drank with him after his resurrection from the dead " [At 10, 38. 39 – 42]

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This call to eat and drink with him, in addition to the moments spent together with Jesus at the table, it is a call to the Eucharist. Here then is where to draw our spiritual food and drink to be able to walk the way of faith. The resurrection is lived especially at Easter, but every Sunday, in which Christ makes himself present in the body, blood, soul and divinity is always Easter and resurrection in Him, for him, with him.

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This feeling of closeness is described in a moving poem by Giuseppe Ungaretti:

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Christ, thoughtful heartbeat, / Star embodied in human darkness, / Brother who immolates you / Perpetually to rebuild / Humanly man, / Santo, Holy you suffer, /Teacher and brother and God you know us weak, / Santo, Holy you suffer / To free the dead from death /

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We thank the Lord, for the gift of the Resurrection, let us ask him for the grace to unite us little by little more and more to him in faith, in hope and theological charity, protected by the sweet Marian mantle.

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Rome, 4 April 2021

Easter Resurrection

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Father Gabriele Giordano M. Scardocci

About Father Gabriele Giordano M. Scardocci

Dell'Ordine dei Frati Predicatori Presbitero e Teologo ( Click on the name to read all its articles )

2 thoughts on "Because Jesus once died descended into hell before rising from the dead on the third day?

  1. Un momento: If I'm not mistaken, If the 4,10 si riferisce al Figlio di Dio che è disceso sulla Terra, non alla discesa agli inferi, di cui parla invece il (cosiddetto? Ormai si mette in discussione tutto) Credo degli Apostoli.
    Happy Easter!

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