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Jesus of Nazareth
Jesus of Nazareth: From the Baptism in the Jordan to the Transfiguration | Pope Benedict XVI, Joseph Ratzinger
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“This book is . . . my personal search ‘for the face of the Lord.’” –Benedict XVIIn this bold, momentous work, the Pope––in his first book written as Benedict XVI––seeks to salvage the person of Jesus from recent “popular” depictions and to restore Jesus’ true identity as discovered in the Gospels. Through his brilliance as a theologian and his personal conviction as a believer, the Pope shares a rich, compelling, flesh-and-blood portrait of Jesus and incites us to encounter, face-to-face, the central figure of the Christian faith. From Jesus of Nazareth: “. . . the great question that will be with us throughout this entire book: But what has Jesus really brought, then, if he has not brought world peace, universal prosperity, and a better world? What has he brought? The answer is very simple: God. He has brought God! He has brought the God who once gradually unveiled his countenance first to Abraham, then to Moses and the prophets, and then in the wisdom literature–the God who showed his face only in Israel, even though he was also honored among the pagans in various shadowy guises. It is this God, the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob, the true God, whom he has brought to the peoples of the earth. He has brought God, and now we know his face, now we can call upon him. Now we know the path that we human beings have to take in this world. Jesus has brought God and with God the truth about where we are going and where we come from: faith, hope, and love.”
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sullijo
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Prepping for a course I'm teaching on the Trinity and reminded again what a gift this book (all three volumes, really) is. Pope Benedict's reflections always open up new avenues for deepening my understanding of and relationship with Jesus. #JesusChrist #Catholic #BenedictXVI #pope

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jessamyngrace

Luke's account of the Transfiguration tells us that "the Transfiguration is a prayer event; it displays visibly what happens when Jesus talks with his Father: the profound interpenetration of his being with God, which then becomes pure light. In his oneness with the Father, Jesus is himself 'light from light.'"

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jessamyngrace
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At certain key moments, the disciples came to the astonishing realization: This is God himself.

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jessamyngrace

It is precisely this transcendent dialogue, which encounter with Jesus involves, that once more reveals to us the true Shepherd, who does not take possession of us, but leads us to the freedom of our being by leading us into communion with God and by giving his own life.

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jessamyngrace
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jessamyngrace

Along with water, the three great gifts of the earth [wheat bread, wine and olive oil] subsequently become the basic elements of the Church's sacraments, in which the fruits of creation are transformed into bearers of God's historical action, into 'signs,' in which he bestows upon us his special closeness.

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jessamyngrace

Here at Jacob's well, we encounter Jacob as the great patriarch who by means of this well has provided water, the basic element of life. But there is a greater thirst in man -- it extends beyond the water from the well, because it seeks a life that reaches out beyond the biological sphere. (John 1:51; 4:14)

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jessamyngrace

The Resurrection teaches us a new way of seeing; it uncovers the connection between the words of the Prophets and the destiny of Jesus. It evokes 'remembrance,' that is, it makes it possible to enter into the interiority of the events, into the intrinsic coherence of God's speaking and acting.

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jessamyngrace

The parable of The Prodigal Son:

The older brother's bitterness toward God's goodness reveals an inward bitterness regarding his own obedience, a bitterness that indicates the limitations of his obedience. In his heart of hearts, he would have gladly journeyed out into that great 'freedom' as well.... He has not gone through the pilgrimage that purified the younger brother & made him realize what it means to be free and what it means to be a son.

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jessamyngrace
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Those who understand freedom as the radically arbitrary license to do just what they want and to have their own way are living in a lie, for by his very nature man is part of a shared existence and his freedom is shared freedom.

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jessamyngrace

The concrete question is who is meant by 'neighbor.' The conventional answer, for which scriptural support could be adduced, was that 'neighbor' meant a fellow member of one's people. A people is a community of solidarity in which everyone bears responsibility for everyone else. In this community, each member is sustained by the whole, and so each member is expected to look on every other 'as himself,' as a part of the same whole.

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jessamyngrace

Now, every educator, every teacher who wants to communicate new knowledge to his listeners naturally makes constant use of example or parable. By using an example, he draws to their attention a reality that until now has lain outside their field of vision. He wants to show how something they have hitherto not perceived can be glimpsed via a reality that does fall within their range of experience.

jessamyngrace By means of parable he brings something different within their reach so that, using the parable as a bridge, they can arrive at what was previously unknown. A twofold movement is involved here. On one hand, the parable brings distant realities close to the listeners as they reflect upon it. On the other hand, the listeners themselves are led onto a journey. 2y
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jessamyngrace

Love is always a process involving purifications, renunciations, and painful transformations of ourselves -- and that is how it is a journey to maturity. If Francis Xavier was able to pray to God, saying, 'I love you, not because you have the power to give heaven or hell, but simply because you are you -- my king and my God,' then surely he had needed a long path of inner purifications to reach such ultimate freedom.

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jessamyngrace

The miraculously multiplied bread harks back to the miracle of manna in the desert and at the same time points beyond itself: to the fact that man's real food is the Logos, the eternal Word, the eternal meaning, from which we come and toward which our life is directed.

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jessamyngrace

Adam, heading the words of the serpent, wants to become God himself and to shed his need for God. We see that to be God's child is not a matter of dependency, but rather of standing in the relation of love that sustains man's existence and gives it meaning and grandeur.

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jessamyngrace
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This reveals in a surprising way what prayer is really all about: It is not about this or that, but about God's desire to offer us the gift of himself -- that is the gift of all gifts, the 'one thing necessary.' Prayer is a way of gradually purifying and correcting our wishes and of slowly coming to realize what we really need: God and his Spirit.

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jessamyngrace

[Our praying] can and should be a wholly personal prayer. But we also constantly need to make use of those prayers that express in words the encounter with God experienced both by the Church as a whole and by individual members of the Church. For without these aids to prayer, our own praying and our image of God become subjective and end up reflectioning ourselves more than the living God.

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jessamyngrace
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❤️❤️

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jessamyngrace

The meaning of a given passage of the Bible becomes most intelligible in those human beings who have been totally transfixed by it and have lived it out. Interpretation of Scripture can never be a purely academic affair, and it cannot be relegated to the purely historical. Scripture is full of potential for the future, a potential that can only be opened up when someone "lives through" and "suffers through" the sacred text.

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jessamyngrace

[The Poor in Spirit] are people who don't flaunt their achievements before God. They don't stride into God's presence as if they were partners able to engage with him on an equal footing; they don't lay claim to a reward for what they have done. These are people who know that their poverty also has an interior dimension; they are lovers who simply want to let God bestow his gifts upon them & thereby live in inner harmony with God's nature & word.

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jessamyngrace

When man begins to see and to live from God's perspective, when he is a companion on Jesus' way, then he lives by new standards, and something of the éschaton, of the reality to come, is already present. Jesus brings joy into the midst of affliction.

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jessamyngrace

When Jesus speaks of the Kingdom of God, he is quite simply proclaiming God, and proclaiming him to be the living God, who is able to act concretely in the world & in history & is even now so acting. He is telling us: "God exists" & "God is really God," which means that he holds in his hands the threads of the world. Jesus' message is very simple & thoroughly God-centered. The new & totally specific thing about his message is: God is acting now.

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jessamyngrace

The core content of the Gospel is this: The Kingdom of God is at hand. A milestone is set up in the flow of time; something new takes place. And an answer to this gift is demanded of man: conversion and faith. The center of this announcement is the message that God's Kingdom is at hand.

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jessamyngrace
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Do we really know Jesus at all?

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jessamyngrace

Up until the third century, many manuscripts of the Gospels referred to [Barabbas] as 'Jesus Barabbas' -- 'Jesus son of the father.' Barabbas [is] a sort of alter ego of Jesus, who makes the same claim but understands it in a completely different way. So the choice is between a Messiah who leads an armed struggle, promises freedom & a kingdom of one's own, and this mysterious Jesus who proclaims that losing oneself is the way to life.

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jessamyngrace

The arrogance that would make God an object & impose our laboratory conditions upon him is incapable of finding him. For it already implies that we deny God as God by placing ourselves above him, by discarding the whole dimension of love, of interior listening; by no longer acknowledging as real anything but what we can experimentally test & grasp. To think like that is to make oneself God.

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The desert becomes the place of reconciliation and healing.

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jessamyngrace

Looking at the events in light of the Cross and Resurrection, the Christian people realized what happened: Jesus loaded the burden of all mankind's guilt upon his shoulders; he bore it down into the depths of the Jordan. He inaugurated his public activity by stepping into the place of sinners. His inaugural gesture is an anticipation of the Cross.... The Baptism is an acceptance of death for the sins of humanity.

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[The prophet] shows us the face of God, and in so doing he shows us the path that we have to take.... He points out the path to the true 'exodus,' which consists in this: Among all the paths of history, the path to God is the true direction that we must seek & find. Prophecy in this sense is a strict corollary to Israel's monotheism. It is the translation of this faith into the everyday life of a community before God & on the way to him.

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Shannakathleene
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At the gym with my intellectual pope crush. #papabennyforever