Monday, April 20, 2009

Jesus Christ According to Benedict XVI- Part IV.

The Christian Faith is not about being nice. It is not simply about the Golden Rule. And it it certainly not a philosophy. The Faith is an encounter with a person, with the Person.

Christ tells us who man truly is and what man must do to be truly human. He shows us the way, and this way is the truth. He himself is both the way and the truth, and therefore he is also the life which all of us are seeking. He shows us the way beyond death; only someone able to do this is a true teacher of life. The true shepherd is one who knows even the path that passes through the valley of death…he himself has walked this path, he has descended into the kingdom of death, and he has returned to accompany us now and to give us the certainty that, together with him, we can find a way through.” -Benedict XVI

Benedict XVI clarifies that the reason Jesus Christ is so hard to figure out apart from revelation is because he did not leave behind a body of teaching which is separate from his “I.” He did not perform a work that could be distinguished from his “I.” His work is the giving of himself. This is the mystery and beauty of Jesus Christ: that he is not a mere teacher. He himself is simultaneously both teacher and the teaching. Since the person of Jesus is his teaching, the Christian Faith is truly the only personal faith in the form of an encounter. It is not limited to the affirmation or adherence of a particular system, but rather the acceptance of this "person who is his word, of the word as person and of the person as word.”

The Christian proposal is simply this in the words of Benedict XVI: "If we know this person and he knows us, then we are no longer slaves of the universe and its laws, but free."

Benedict XVI provides us with a beautiful meditation regarding the encounter with this person: “Before his gaze all falsehood melts away. This encounter with him, as it burns us, transforms and frees us, allowing us to become truly ourselves."

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