For the message about the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written,
“I will destroy the wisdom of the wise,
and the discernment of the discerning I will thwart.”
Where is the one who is wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, God decided, through the foolishness of our proclamation, to save those who believe. For Jews demand signs and Greeks desire wisdom, but we proclaim Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, but to those who are the called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. (1 Corinthians 1:18–24)
The cross is the tree of my eternal salvation nourishing and delighting me. I take root in its roots, I am extended in its branches, I am delighted by its dew, I am fertilized by its spirit as by a delightful breeze. The cross is my nourishment when I am hungry, my fountain when I am thirsty, my covering when I am stripped, for my leaves are no longer fig leaves, but the breath of life. This is my safeguard when I fear God, my support when I falter, my prize when I enter combat, and my trophy when I triumph. This is my narrow path, my steep way. This is the ladder of Jacob, the way of angels, at the summit of which the Lord is truly established. This is my tree, wide as the firmament, which extends from earth to the heavens; it is the pillar of the universe, the support of the whole world. . . .
—Anonymous third-century sermon
[“The Paschal History,” The Paschal Mystery: Ancient Liturgies and Patristic Texts, ed. A. Hamman OFM (Staten Island, NY: Alba House, 1969), 64-65.]
Come and join us at the Dean’s Forum, 9 a.m. in the narthex, for conversation about the Cross. All welcome.