“O God, who through the folly of the Cross wondrously taught Saint Justin the Martyr the surpassing knowledge of Jesus Christ…”
Attending Mass, whether daily or for fulfilling the Sunday obligation, unwittingly becomes routine. The common prayers – I Confess, Gloria, Creed, Holy Holy, Our Father – are so familiar that we can just rattle them off when they turn up at their appointed place in the Liturgy. Even the readings, after time, become good friends and, on hearing the first few words, we know what comes next.
On the other hand, how often do we actually ‘hear’ the other prayers recited during the Liturgy? They are unfamiliar (unless you have your own personal copy of the Mass missal), privy only to the priest at the altar and, if you are not particularly attentive, you could miss the words altogether. Today, our celebrant intoned the Collect Prayer with unusual clarity and my ears picked up the words, ‘….folly of the Cross…’ and I was intrigued. Yes, I checked the Book after Mass and I had heard correctly.
This set me thinking about how much we are loved. If you have ever cared for another so intensely that you forget self for the other, when no sacrifice is too hard and no expense too great, you throw logic to the winds, there is irrationality in the face of danger and there is even less thought to the consequences. How foolish we are when we love deeply!
Imagine, then, how deep and how immense was Christ’s love for us; all we need to do is to look to the ‘foolishness of the Cross’ to know this reality.