Friday, June 29, 2007

Pope on Peters Confession of Faith

Great experts recognize [Christ's] spiritual and moral stature in the history of mankind, comparing him to Buddha, Confucius, Socrates, and other sages and great characters of History. They do not get to recognize him in his uniqueness.


Hearing him preach, watching him heal, evangelize the small and the poor, reconcile sinners, the disciples reached little by little the understanding that He was the Messiah in the highest sense of the word, that is, not only a man sent by God, but God himself made man.

All this was clearly too great for them, it overwhelmed their capacity for understanding. They could express their faith with the titles of Jewish Tradition: "Christ", "Son of God", "Lord". But to adhere completely to reality, those titles had to be in some way rediscovered in their deepest truth: Jesus himself with his life has revealed its deepest sense, always surprising, actually paradoxical to standard conceptions.

And the faith of the disciples had to adapt progressively. It presents itself as a pilgrimage, which has its original moment in the experience of the historic Jesus, finds its foundation in the Paschal mystery, but must still move forward thanks to the action of the Holy Spirit. Such has also been the faith of the Church in the course of History, such is also our faith, [of the] Christians of today. Firmly established on the "rock" of Peter, it is a pilgrimage towards the fullness of that truth which the Galilee Fisherman professed with passionate conviction: "Thou art Christ, the Son of the living God"

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