Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Met Georges Khodr: The Foolishness of God

Arabic original here

The Foolishness of God

In  today's epistle, the Apostle Paul says to the Galatians, "But God forbid that I should boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world" (Galatians 6:14). Does the Apostle want us to take pride in a piece of wood? Of course not, what is meant is not the wood. What the Apostle Paul is enjoining us here is to take pride in the love that was poured out upon the wood, in a love that is not like the love that people have for each other. The love that people have for each other is in the best case reciprocal. We love because others return the love. But there is a singular, mad love that is God's love for people.

People do not deserve much of anything. Man is more decadent than we think. Every person is more ridiculous than we reckon. Despite this, God loves man and sacrificed Himself. God did not sacrifice money like people do. He did not sacrifice courtesies, which are all just words. God's love for man cost Him His blood. It made Him reach out to these humans, to you and to me. He came not to judge, but to save.

People love, condemn, judge, hold accountable, examine and admonish. They want an exchange, closely tied to others' feelings, which makes them always lie in wait for each other. They do not hold back from anything because in their view the whole world belongs to them.

God's love is completely different from this love. In the cross, God says to us: The world is not for Me. The world is for the world. Man is for himself. I came to serve him and to save him as he is-- in his poverty, his ridiculousness, his decadence.

This is what the Apostle wants us to take pride in and in the reflection of the mystery of crucified love upon us and in our daily life. To put it another way, he wants us to be thankful for every weakness, every infirmity, every fallback, secure in the fact that God is supporting us in this and is our companion.

The Apostle wants us to take pride in precisely that which human reason and human lust does not take pride in. He wants us to take pride in the cross, as though we are madmen, as he said in his First Epistle to the Corinthians: "For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God" (1 Corinthians 1:18). This Christian madness is true wisdom and true intelligence "because the foolishness of God is wiser than men" (1 Corinthians 1:25). Man must retreat from much of what puffs him up and everything that he boasts of. He must be humble, become simple, not lie in wait, not admonish, not examine, not judge and not condemn. He must do all of this so that the cross that we celebrate this week might be elevated, not only on the hill of Jerusalem, but in our hearts.

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