In the ancient world, most Greek philosophers believed that wisdom was the path to God. Great wisdom was understood as the goal of life and the sign of divine favour.
For the Jews, however, it was power, not wisdom that demonstrated God’s presence. If you could pull off miracles like the prophets, that was proof of closeness to God. If you were strong enough to keep all the stringent rules of the Law you could be pleasing to God.
What the Lord reveals and what St. Paul is explaining is that both these paths are dead ends. On our own we could never be strong enough or wise enough.
But the Cross shows us the true path to God: faith. It is the will of God to save those who put their faith in Jesus Christ. It is this faith that pleases God: a faith of relationship, of trust, and of personal adherence to him, personally accepting His work of salvation accomplished upon the Cross.
Faith means opening your heart to Jesus and letting him in. It means loving him, believing him, and entrusting your life to him by following him unreservedly. It means obedience and doing the will of the Father. In this way God’s victory becomes our victory!
Christ Crucified teaches this powerful lesson from the pulpit of the Cross; the most noble pulpit He ever had. It is not just a lesson that needed to be learned by the Jews and the Greeks of the first century, we need to hear it just as much as the ancient Greeks and Jews.
We are called to absorb this lesson, to live it, and proclaim it with our whole lives.
This is the heart of our spirituality and the core message of our mission.