Cover of Jesus of Nazareth
VATICAN - WORDS OF DOCTRINE:
Rev Nicola Bux and Rev Salvatore Vitiello -
Vatican City (Agenzia Fides) - "The Church lives in people and those who wish to know the Church and to understand her mystery, must consider people who lived and who live the message and the mystery of the Church ". This was how the Holy Father Benedict XVI began his address at the weekly Wednesday audience on April 22, showing once again the extraordinary realism of his manner of understanding, and above all, of living Christianity, that is, the encounter with the Event, the Person of Christ.
Those who still see this pontificate as reined between "conservatorism" "progressism", between "new" end "old", between "vulgate" and "Latin" , between "break" and "continuity", show clearly that they fail to grasp, not only the theological stature of Joseph Ratzinger-Benedict XVI, but indeed the very nature of Christianity.
Faith in Jesus of Nazareth, Lord and Christ, is marked by victory over all ideological pre-comprehension and by the Risen Lord's continual presence in his Body, the Church which, precisely, "lives in people". The fact that the Church lives in people, implies the necessary question of "how" can the men and women of today, of the 21st century, truly encounter Jesus Christ without this encounter being some sort of sentimentalist or spiritualistic flight, and the equivalent of a rationalistic reduction of the Mystery. Both, flight and the reduction, are not worthy of the human person who is a rational being but at the same time capable of experiencing authentic sentiments; they are not worthy of what the Bible calls the human "heart", the entirety of the demands and the evidence which constitute the essential nucleus, with which to compare the events of life.
The answer to "how" can men and women of today meet Christ and know the Church which, "lives in people", can be found in the still too little understood coincidence between content and method in Christianity!
As the Holy Father recalled in his recent allocution to the Plenary of the Congregation for the Clergy: " In the mystery of the Incarnation of the Word, that is, of the fact that God became man like us, lies both the content and the method of Christian proclamation " (16 March 2009).
This is why "the Church lives in people"! Because the Incarnation is not only a dogmatic reality concerning the God-man, Jesus of Nazareth, it is, at the same time, the method with which the Lord chose to reveal himself and continues to do so, in this time of the Spirit and the Church, with the same method: through what is human.
The human, which certainly has none of the prerogatives of the most holy humanity of Christ the Lord, immune from any trace of sin, but which nevertheless, powerfully transformed by sanctifying grace, can continue to "strike" and attract men and women of our times for new judgment and new behavior in reality, which determine an encounter with Christ. This is the ever new mystery of humanity transformed by grace which, one sees again and again, answers to the deepest desires of every person, meeting, even among those most distant from the Church, favor and acceptance from which there arises the same old question: "Who is this man?". A question which is the first step to faith! Faith rendered possible precisely by the awareness that content and method in and of Christianity, coincide, because "the Church lives in people".
(Agenzia Fides 23/4/2009; righe 45, parole 526)