An existence at the Utmost Pitch of Obedience

That the Redeemer is solidarity with the dead, or, better, with this death which makes of the dead, for the first time, dead human beings in all reality”“this is the final consequence of the redemptive mission he has received from the Father. His being with the dead is an existence at the utmost pitch of obedience, and because the One thus obedient is the dead Christ, it constitutes the ”˜obedience of a corpse’ (the phrase is Francis of Assisi’s) of a theologically unique kind. By it Christ takes the existential measure of everything that is sheerly contrary to God, of the entire object of the divine eschatological judgment, which here is grasped in that event in which it is ”˜cast down’ ”¦. But at the same time, this happening gives the measure of the Father’s mission in all its amplitude: the ”˜exploration’ of Hell is an event of the (economic) Trinity.

”“Hans Urs von Balthasar (1905-1988)


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