Tuesday, April 11, 2006

All Fall Down

God's fidelity to us is what gives us the courage to be true to ourselves. And the legacy of God's total commitment to humankind, the proof of God's fidelity to our poverty, is the cross. The cross is the sacrament of poverty of spirit, the sacrament of authentic humanness in a sinful world. It is the sign that one human being remained true to his own humanity, that he accepted it in full obedience.

Hanging in utter weakness on the cross, Christ revealed the divine meaning of our Being. It said something for the Jews and pagans that they found the cross scandalous and foolish (1 Cor. 1:23). To the enlightened humanitarians and liberals of a later day the cross provokes only flat irony or weary skepticism. These self-styled advocates of humanity are more experienced; they are too indifferent to find the cross scandalous, yet not so naive as to laugh at its foolishness. And what is it to us? Well, no one is exempted from the poverty of the cross; there is no guarantee against its intrusion. The antipathy to it found its way into the very midst of Christ's disciples: "You will all fall away because of me this night"
(Mt. 26:31).

--Johannes Baptist Metz, Poverty of Spirit


Blogger Paula said...

I have to digest this quote Mark.Thanks for posting it.

5:13 PM  
Blogger Jennifer said...


This is the second time I have come across Johannes Baptiste Metz this Lent and I'm still struck in awe.

After all these years of being a Catholic the crucifixion has never been described to me as an illustration of what it means to be poor in spirit.

And this painting you posted? What is it? It seems to be like Caravaggio's Taking of Christ but it is something else?

8:33 AM  
Blogger Mark Mossa, SJ said...

The painting is "unidentified Flemish" in the MFA in Boston.

Certainly infuenced by Caravaggio.

9:35 AM  

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