Monday, April 20, 2009

Jesus Christ According to Benedict XVI-Conclusion

Descendit de caelis: He came down from heaven. Through Jesus Christ, the Word made flesh, man has become certain of God. God is no longer an abstract being, "out there," a distant “first cause” of the world. The Incarnation allows all to confess: “I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave me for himself.” -Galatians 2:20

It is not science that redeems man, but love. No matter what man's circumstances, in the encounter with absolute love man begets absolute certainty. This is the meaning of redemption in Jesus Christ.

Jesus Christ is the God-man. This is a paradox. This is a mystery. It is almost unbelievable, but it is true. Benedict XVI emphasizes the relevancy of Christ and that what "makes Jesus important and irreplaceable in every age is precisely the fact that he was and is the Son, and that in him God has become man.” If, as the modern scholars often do, the attempt is made to remove "God" from the God-man, then the "man" is simultaneously obliterated. Jesus Christ does not make sense in any other way than as the God-man.

There are those today (much like the Arians of the past) who try to preserve the "purity" of the concept of God. They may believe in God, but he is not something accessible to man. But the Fathers of the Church regarded this as atheism: a God who is untouchable in human affairs is no God. Benedict XVI poses the question, “Do we not find it impossible that man can have a genuine relationship with God in the world?” Modernity has cowered from the God, has reduced his active role in the world, and has therefore retreated to the historical "man" Jesus.

"Pope Benedict has shown how a man of faith and reason, a Christian scholar, can find the face of Jesus in the canonical Gospels, and how others can do the same. Biblical scholars have been given a fine example of a pastoral hermeneutic capable of building up the life of the Church that is grounded in faith, reads Scripture canonically and theologically, and that draws both on the resources of critical exegesis and of the Christian tradition." -Peter S. Williamson

Benedict XVI's is a theologian as well as an evangelist. He enthusiastically invites those who read his writings to enter into that relationship with Jesus Christ which has prompted those reflections which is his personal testimony to the realities he describes. He invites us to sacrificially love others in union with Christ’s self-giving love for us revealed in the cross.

I leave you with these beautiful words of Benedict XVI, especially timely during these fifty days of Eastertide: “Christ summons us to find heaven in him, to discover him in others and thus to be heaven to each other. He calls us to let heaven shine into this world, to build heaven here. Jesus stretches out his hand to us in his Easter message, in the mystery of the sacraments, so that Easter may be now, so that the light of heaven may shine forth in this world and the doors may be opened. Let us take his hand! Amen.”

1 comment:

Santiago said...

I like the final quote. Heaven begins on Earth, at the moment of our encounter with Christ. That's the hundred fold, and heaven is the + infinity.


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