Food for Thought-Saint Francis, I’ve Been Thinking About Your Favorite Crucifix

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It is as if Jesus is holding up the cross, not the other way around. This is not how we typically talk about or describe the crucifixion. Jesus, the broken man, is hung, nailed, or placed on the cross. In the San Damiano crucifix, Jesus appears to be keeping the cross in place. The longer you hold your gaze upon the cross the more this becomes apparent. Jesus is there, holding the instrument of his suffering in place for everyone to see. He has chosen the place and the time of his execution. Despite the obvious reality of death, there is little indication of his mortality. Jesus seems very much alive. He is conquering death by embracing his vulnerability. His open arms, often depicted as hanging limbs broken in exasperation are vital signs of his willingness to embrace his enemies while awaiting his next agonizing breath. As Jesus props up our idea of death, we are forced to realize that death is not what we believed it to be. Eternity remains in the background. Resurrection happens in the foreground; not in an isolated empty tomb but at the foot of the cross itself. Resurrection is now.

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3 thoughts on “Food for Thought-Saint Francis, I’ve Been Thinking About Your Favorite Crucifix

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