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Posts Tagged ‘Disciples’

The Logic of God Is Different From the Logic of Man

In 06 Scripture & Theology on 2013/02/28 at 11:11 AM

Pope Benedict commented on today’s Gospel reading from St. Mark in which “Jesus began to speak openly about what would happen to Him at the end. … It is clear that a great interior distance separates Jesus and His disciples. They are, so to speak, on two different wave lengths, and so the words of the Master are either not understood, or understood only superficially”.

For example, the Holy Father went on, “the Apostle Peter, after having shown his faith in Jesus, reproved Him because He predicted that He would be rejected and killed”. In their turn the disciples, following the second announcement of the Passion, “began discussing which of them was greatest”. Finally, following the third announcement “James and John asked Jesus to be allowed to sit at His right and left hand when He was in glory.

“But there are several other signs of this distance”, Benedict XVI added, “for example, the disciples were unable to heal an epileptic boy, whom Jesus later healed with the power of prayer. Moreover, certain children were presented to Jesus, the disciples reproved them but Jesus was indignant and insisted they stay, affirming that only those like unto children can enter the Kingdom of God”.

All this, the Holy Father explained, “reminds us that God’s logic is always “other” with respect to our own. … For this reason, following the Lord always requires a profound conversion on the part of man, a change in his or her way of thinking and living. It requires an openness of heart, in order to listen and allow oneself to be enlightened and transformed from within. A key point in which God and man are different is pride: God has no pride, because He is absolute fullness, and is completely given to love and the giving of life. In us, on the other hand, pride is deeply rooted and requires constant vigilance and purification. We, who are small, desire to appear great, to be the first, while God does not fear to humble Himself and make Himself the last”.

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God Doesn’t Consider As Much the Qualities of the Chosen as their Faith

In 06 Scripture & Theology on 2013/02/15 at 9:11 AM

Pope Benedict commented on the Gospel of St. Luke that narrates the call of the first disciples, a call “preceded by Jesus’ teaching to the multitude and by a miraculous catch of fish.” While the crowd gathered on the shore of Lake Gennesaret to listen to Him, Jesus?seeing Simon disheartened because he hadn’t caught anything the whole night?asks if He can board his boat to preach to the people a little way from the shore. Once finished preaching, Christ orders Simon to go out to sea with his companions and to cast their nets. Simon obeys and the nets are filled with an incredible amount of fish. “The Gospel writer shows that the first disciples followed Jesus, trusting in Him, acting on His Word, while accompanied by prodigious signs. … This is the pedagogy of God’s call, which doesn’t look as much at the quality of the chosen as at their faith, as in Simon’s case.

“The image of the catch,” the Pope emphasized, “recalls the Church’s mission … Peter’s experience, certainly unique, is also representative of the call of each Apostle in the Gospel, who should never lose heart in proclaiming Christ to all people, even to the ends of the earth. today’s text also brings us to reflect on the vocation to the priesthood and to consecrated life. This is God’s work. Human beings are not the authors of their own vocation, but respond to a divine call. Human weakness should not lead us to fear God’s call. It is necessary to be confident in His strength, which acts precisely in our weakness. We must trust ever more in the power of His mercy, which transforms and renews us.”

“May this Word of God also reignite in us and in our Christian communities the courage, confidence, and enthusiasm to announce and witness to the Gospel. Challenges and difficulties don’t dishearten us: it falls to us to cast our nets with faith. The Lord will do the rest,” concluded the Holy Father.

After praying the Angelus, Benedict XVI noted that many Asian countries are celebrating the Lunar New Year. Peace, harmony, and thanksgiving to heaven,” he observed, “are the universal values that are celebrated in this happy circumstance, and they are wished for by all so as to build their family, society, and their nation upon them. I wish for those peoples the fulfilment of their aspirations for a happy and prosperous life. I send a special greeting to the Catholics of those countries that, in this Year of Faith, they may be guided by Christ’s wisdom.

Lastly, he spoke of the World Day of the Sick, which will be celebrated tomorrow, 11 February, on the liturgical feastday of Our Lady of Lourdes. “The solemn ceremony,” he said, “will take place in the Marian Shrine in Altotting, Bavaria, Germany. I am near to all the ill in prayer and affection and I spiritually join with those gathered in that sanctuary that I love so much.”

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