Sunday, April 19, 2009

Jesus Christ According to Benedict XVI-Introduction

When a little boy sees a cardboard box, he is not content to just give it a superficial glance--he wants to look inside the box.

As humans, we are drawn to mystery. The experience of mystery is interesting because it is not that life is not or cannot be understood, but that it can never be fully understood, in its totality. And yet the desire to know and understand remains.

The drama of life is also undeniably one of paradox! St. Paul described this experience of being human so well in his letter to the Romans: "I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate." (7:15)

The paradox is that if one approaches knowledge and understanding with this sense of mystery and paradox, one will know and understand more clearly.

This being stated, it is important to adhere to this mentality in trying to answer the question that Jesus Christ posed to Peter and the disciples, “Who do you say that I am?

Characteristic of Jesus’ approach in the gospel accounts, he does not give the apostles a straightforward answer. Yet his words and deeds provide the clues needed to connect the dots on the mystery of his existence.

It is (paradoxically!) a question that he has answered, and that has yet to be answered.

This loss of the importance of recognizing the reality of mystery and paradox (and that reality is mystery and paradox) in the discovery of truth is what has led to the current problems in modern Christological scholarship in trying to unpack who this man Jesus is.

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