Friday, June 01, 2007

The Folly of the Cross

This came in my e-mail today:
Sr. Anne, I have a question. What is the reason behind today's entry in the Magnificat:
It reads, "St. Justin was taught by the foolishness of the cross." And later before the Mass readings is
"Father through the folly of the cross'.... Question- why is folly used with the word Cross????

The expression "folly of the cross" comes right from the Good Book--from St. Paul, in fact. "The message of the cross is complete foolishness for those on the way to ruin, but to us who are experiencing salvation it is the power of God."
Paul is telling the Corinthians that we do not find salvation in wisdom or in the Mosaic Law, but in the utterly contradictory mystery of his own Son's death. In other words, God brings about ultimate victory through what would seem to be utter failure. It is similar to the mystery of Christ's birth--not in the palace of the king, but in a stable, in squalor. God's glory is manifested the most where human "glory" is totally absent. That seems like foolishness to us. St. Paul said that "God's folly is wiser than human wisdom and God's weakness is stronger than human strength." That makes the cross a "stumbling block" (in Greek, a scandal). When it comes to wisdom, strength, or glory, we are the ones who have it all wrong!
See 1 Cor. 18-31.

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