Holy Saturday!

John 19:42

So because of the Jewish day of Preparation, as the tomb was close at hand, they laid Jesus there.

Some Christians are wary of sacraments because they think that we need to concentrate on the "spiritual realities" of Christ.  The problem is that Jesus didn't die "in a spiritual sense".  He died on a wooden cross, with dull iron spikes pounded into his bleeding wrists and feet.  A lance pierced the pericardial sac surrounding his heart and left a wound.  Death is not disembodied.  It involves a corpse and other unpleasantnesses.  To be sure, he rose again, as we shall celebrate tomorrow.  But he rose bodily, not as a disembodied spook.  Holy Saturday reminds us that God has not floated airily above the world, dispensing good advice and mapping out abstract theories.  He has gone all the way down into the stink and corruption of the grave and redeemed it.  Because of that we shall be redeemed–bodily–from death in very truth and not in theory.

Mark Shea


Mark P. Shea is a popular Catholic writer and speaker. The author of numerous books, his most recent work is The Work of Mercy (Servant) and The Heart of Catholic Prayer (Our Sunday Visitor). Mark contributes numerous articles to many magazines, including his popular column “Connecting the Dots” for the National Catholic Register. Mark is known nationally for his one minute “Words of Encouragement” on Catholic radio. He also maintains the Catholic and Enjoying It blog and regularly blogs for National Catholic Register. He lives in Washington state with his wife, Janet, and their four sons.

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