Saturday 11 February 2017

Nakedness and Glory and Life

The first reading from Genesis these days is about Adam and Eve, the fall, the two trees (strange how catechism had made it appear that there was only one tree), and the nakedness of Adam and Eve.

Nakedness: not a value at all for the Jews. A huge value for the Greeks, with their fascination for the beauty of the human body.

On the cross the Body of Jesus is naked, and it is meant as a humiliation, both by Romans and for the Jews. The veil of the Temple is torn, and the Shekinah is revealed in its glory.

And, if Adam and Eve have eaten of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, God now bars the way to the Garden, so that they might not eat of the Tree of Life "and live forever."

And yet when the Body of Jesus hangs naked on the cross, and the veil of the Temple is torn, we are given Life.

The via pulchritudinis: Vita Consecrata speaks of the way of beauty as an intrinsic part of formation: we are attracted, drawn by the beauty of the Lord, drawn to following him even in his most particular choices. Drawn by beauty. "When I am lifted up, I will draw all things to myself." Drawn by beauty, and by love.

Amazing how Pope Francis is concentrating on "beyond doctrine": mercy, beauty, joy, peace.

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