On this day, the Church commemorates the descent of Christ into the place of the dead, where He releases Adam and Eve. An ancient homily for Holy Saturday expresses it thus: ‘What is happening? Today there is a great silence over the earth, a great silence, and stillness, a great silence because the King sleeps; the earth was in terror and was still, because God slept in the flesh and raised up those who were sleeping from the ages. God has died in the flesh, and the underworld has trembled. Truly he goes to seek out our first parent like a lost sheep; he wishes to visit those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death. He goes to free the prisoner Adam and his fellow-prisoner Eve from their pains, he who is God, and Adam’s son.

The Lord goes in to them,  holding His victorious weapon, His cross. When Adam, the first created man, sees him, he strikes his breast in terror and calls out to all: ‘My Lord be with you all.’ And Christ in reply says to Adam: ‘And with your spirit’. And grasping his hand he raises him up, saying: ‘Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give you light”’.

The image below, by Duccio, shows Christ entering the place of darkness, bringing light and life. As we await the great Solemnity of the Lord’s Resurrection, let us allow Him into our own interior spaces of darkness, that He may bring light and healing. May you be greatly blessed this day.