Like Christ, to suffer and to carry becomes our passion’s willingness, and rejoicing, because we understand this action to be redemptive for the whole world process from paradisiacal beginning to eschatological end. No one should disrespect the vital importance of the mind becoming enlightened; but there is a suffering that both defeats the heart, yet can become redemptive for the heart, and thus for the world which the heart is called to redeem. Divine Light was always in the world, but only through Jesus the Christ came a new and final Spiritual Fire.
Out of our passion, so muscular in possibility and so spent and lost in actuality, we praise the Passion of Christ. His Passion alone reaches the heart at its most desperate, with the paradoxical power to change that into the heart at its most trusting, and bold= the heart for existence we were first inspired by as a child, but gave up on as an adult.
The paradox of the Messiah, saving and redeeming, is the paradox of Yahweh. The Holy One of Israel is ‘a light and a fire’ [Isaiah, 10, 17].
Light= the heavenly king comes in glory; to behold him is [key to] Salvation.
Fire= the heavenly king comes stripped of all glory, naked, raw, ugly; we cannot bear to look upon him, but his pain penetrates our heart; to be pierced by him is [key to] Redemption.
The king of heaven can only become the king of earth by inverting his crown of gold into a crown of thorns.
The wine of heavenly ecstasy must become the bitter gall mixed with earthly vinegar.
Salvation is good news for those who can be consoled.
Redemption is good news for those who are inconsolable.
O Yeshua, bright and approachable, let us be bathed in your luminous glow. Let us rest our head on your shoulder, as a friend.
O Mashiach, dark and grieving, on the day of trouble when no one comes, your dark flame rekindles the ashes of despair. Let our heart enter the conflagration.
What is a continuation of the past in Christ is God’s Light.
What is new in Christ is God’s Fire.
It is where the Light cannot go, it is where the Light stops, that the Fire leaps into action.
The Light illumines and sanctifies the human.
The Fire is God’s Holiness, and only the Fire makes the human holy.
The Light of the East= mystical and ontological.
The Light of the West= moral and rational.
Both are Light.
Neither is Fire.
“For he is good God and loves mankind.”
..a good God= Light.
..loves mankind= Fire.
“Light of Light, and True God.”
Light of Light= Eros.
True God= Daemonic.
Eros= the Grace only poured out from the Pleroma.
Daemonic= the Truth only won from the Abyss.
The Messiah is reversed on account of the world.
The world will be reversed on account of the Messiah.
The Redeemer must be stripped of his true glory. His worth is concealed.
The world will be stripped of its false glory. Its worthiness will be manifested.
Mary, visited by the spirit who announces the coming Incarnation of the Light, never the less senses and foresees the inversion of the Fire that will become the inversion of the world. She announces the coming Cross.
Luke, 1, 51-54=
“..He has scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts,
he has put down the mighty from their thrones, and exalted those of low degree,
he has filled the hungry with good things,
and the rich he has sent empty away.
He has helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy.”
Isaiah, 61, 1-3=
“The Spirit of Yahweh is upon me, because Yahweh has annointed me to bring good tidings to the afflicted; he has sent me to bind up the broken-hearted, to proclaim liberty to all those held captive by evil, to comfort all who mourn, ..to give them the mantle of praise instead of a faint spirit..”
The Beatitudes of Christ work according to the same inverse paradox=
Blessed are those who mourn,
Blessed are the poor in spirit,
Blessed are the singlular in heart, for they shall see God at work in everything. They will see everything with God’s eyes.
The Reversal brought by the Cross signals doom to the world’s unreality and false worth, but release of the world’s potentiality and true worthiness.
False worth= the high and mighty, the imperious, the rich.
True worthiness= the powerless, the oppressed, the impoverished.
The former have made an individual success out of a common tragedy. They do not need God’s Redemption. They have elevated themselves in a bogus worldly salvation. This fails to attain the felicity and soundness of the real salvation, and covers over, obscures, denies, the need for Redemption. Only the world’s ‘losers’ bear eloquent testimony to the heartlessness of the world’s ‘winners.’ They do not put any window dressing on the world’s abject lack of any genuine victory worthy of God and of humanity.
All are in abject defeat.
The rich try to invert this truth, and the poor live it out.
Thus will the rich be shockingly discomfited, and the poor surprised by joy, when Redemption punches through.
It will be God’s doing. We do what God requires of us to cooperate with it.
The poor, in every sense, are better placed in existence to respond to the meaning and impetus of Redemption. The rich, in every sense, will always be more offended by the Cross than anyone else= they will resist it ‘with all they have got’, ‘for all they are worth.’ In reality, they have nothing of any value.
It is harder for a rich man to enter the Messianic Kingdom than for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle. The ‘eye of the needle’ was a narrow, and low, gate in the wall surrounding Jerusalem. To get through it, the camel had to have all its baggage removed, and kneel down very close to the ground. Then it could enter.
The bigger they are, the harder they fall= when that bigness of stature in humanity’s eyes is smallness of stature in God’s eyes.
Isaiah, 2, 7; 11-12; 17=
“Their land ..is filled with silver and gold, and there is no end of their treasures and their land is filled with horses, neither is there any end of their chariots.. [but] the lofty looks of man shall be humbled and the haughtiness of men shall be bowed down, and Yahweh alone shall be exalted in that day. For the day of the God of Armies shall be upon everyone who is proud and lofty, and upon everyone who is lifted up; and they shall be brought low. ..And the loftiness of man shall be bowed down and the haughtiness of men shall be made low..”
Sirach, 35, 18=
“Yahweh will ..crush the loins of the unmerciful, and ..will take away the multitude of the insolent, and break the sceptres of the unrighteous.”
The poor signify the real hurting, the real situation.
That is terrible to bear.
Yet it is an additional burden and blow, when we think ourselves better than this terrible poverty, to have to throw away our pseudo richness with its pseudo accomplishment, and pseudo high station.
The ‘great and good’ according to worldliness have been served with a warning.
The first will be last, and the last will be first.
Those already in the Pit are closer to the Cross, and more ready to embrace its Reversal, than those in the Tower built over the Pit.
The Tower will collapse and the Pit give up its dead, when Redemption comes.
Christ’s wounding releases the deadened from their fear of being wounded.
Christ’s burdening releases the crushed from their fear of being burdened.
His heart assumed our worst, so that our heart can assume his best. ‘My strength is revealed in weakness.’