Death by Incarnation

Death by Incarnation M at t he w D. Walz My favorite painting is Velázquez’s Christ Crucified (see cover). It is sadly peaceful. The lifeless flesh hangs there, sleeping upon the bed of the cross, calm after the tempest of crucifixion. Christ is dead; his side has been pierced. I imagine it is the moment just before he is taken down and placed in his mother’s arms. The flesh appears to glow; a faint halo surrounds the sacred head. Within the wounded, un- ensouled flesh hides uncreated Divinity, visible only to eyes of faith. It is the moment of Incarnation—the Enfleshment of the Word—in the strictest sense. For when Christ breathed his last, “the Word was made flesh”—indeed, mere flesh, dead flesh—“and dwelt among us.” The following reflections revolve around this scene, when we look upon him whom we have pierced. My aim is to contemplate more profoundly and fruitfully this moment in that wondrous order with which the Word closed out his earthly life. The paradoxical title, “Death by Incarnation,” captures some of what I’ve glimpsed thus far. Christ died by Incarnation—and, analogously, so do we. Hinted at in our death, as made manifest by Christ’s, is the “sub- versively intraversive,” http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Logos: A Journal of Catholic Thought and Culture Logos: Journal of Catholic Thought & Culture

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Publisher
Logos: Journal of Catholic Thought & Culture
Copyright
Copyright © The University of St. Thomas
ISSN
1533-791X

Abstract

M at t he w D. Walz My favorite painting is Velázquez’s Christ Crucified (see cover). It is sadly peaceful. The lifeless flesh hangs there, sleeping upon the bed of the cross, calm after the tempest of crucifixion. Christ is dead; his side has been pierced. I imagine it is the moment just before he is taken down and placed in his mother’s arms. The flesh appears to glow; a faint halo surrounds the sacred head. Within the wounded, un- ensouled flesh hides uncreated Divinity, visible only to eyes of faith. It is the moment of Incarnation—the Enfleshment of the Word—in the strictest sense. For when Christ breathed his last, “the Word was made flesh”—indeed, mere flesh, dead flesh—“and dwelt among us.” The following reflections revolve around this scene, when we look upon him whom we have pierced. My aim is to contemplate more profoundly and fruitfully this moment in that wondrous order with which the Word closed out his earthly life. The paradoxical title, “Death by Incarnation,” captures some of what I’ve glimpsed thus far. Christ died by Incarnation—and, analogously, so do we. Hinted at in our death, as made manifest by Christ’s, is the “sub- versively intraversive,”

Journal

Logos: A Journal of Catholic Thought and CultureLogos: Journal of Catholic Thought & Culture

Published: Mar 24, 2020

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