Tuesday, 30 October 2007

There's Something About Jesus, I

Christ Among the Doctors
Giotto, 1304-6, Cappella Scrovegni, Padua

Beginning our series of excerpts from Pope Benedict's book Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus' wisdom does not proceed from learning, but from His constant dialogue with the Father:

Jesus' teaching is not the product of human learning, of whatever kind. It originates from immediate contact with the Father, from "face-to-face" dialogue - from the vision of the one who rests close to the Father's heart. It is the Son's word. Without this inner grounding, his teaching would be pure presumption. That is just what the learned men of Jesus' time judged it to be, and they did so precisely because they could not accept its inner grounding: seeing and knowing face-to-face.

Again and again the Gospels note that Jesus withdrew "to the mountain" to spend nights in prayer "alone" with his Father. These short passages are fundamental for our understanding of Jesus: they lift the veil of mystery just a little; they give us a glimpse of Jesus' filial existence, into the source from which his action and teaching and suffering sprang ... (p. 7)

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