Wednesday, September 19, 2007


Today's first reading and Gospel both speak of vindication--and in both cases, ultimately, it is Christ who is vindicated. In Paul's letter, he is evidently citing a poem or hymn about Christ as "manifested in the flesh, but vindicated in the spirit." The contrast between "flesh" and "spirit" hint that there is a contrast between the "manifestation" and the "vindication," too. There was nothing manifestly "spiritual" about Jesus' human nature--and this the Gospel makes perfectly clear. He was dismissed, even ridiculed, for being a normal, sociable person who enjoyed a good time as much as the next person. (Of course, his ascetical cousin John was dismissed and ridiculed for living like a hermit and fasting all the time.) In answer to those contradictory criticisms, Jesus remarked that "wisdom will be vindicated by her works." The wisdom at work in both John in his fasting and Jesus in his feasting was vindicated fully in the resurrection. Then Christ was "vindicated in the Spirit."

No comments: