Thursday, October 18, 2007

Lucia I've finally finished!!!

I've been reading Jesus of Nazareth by Pope Benedict XVI for months and I finally finished today! The way I've been reading books lately is to have one main book that I am reading and then a number of others that I pick up along the way. With heavy theological stuff, this seems to make sense for me as I seem to somehow pick up bits and pieces that help me in understanding the main book I am reading. Not that Jesus of Nazareth was hard to read, it was more that there was so much information in it that while it was hard to put down, it was also good to put down in order to process everything.

It probably didn't help that I left it to read for late at night, just before bed when I was tired, so many nights it was hardly picked up, or when I did pick it up I had to re-read pages in order to understand where I was at.

I was particularly struck by Chapter 2 on the Temptations of Jesus in the Desert and Chapter 4 on the on the Beatitudes, which I had never really understood or had explained to me in a way that made sense. Then there was Chapter 5 on The Lord's Prayer, which I now have a whole new appreciation for what I am saying when I say this prayer. Chapter 8 on John's Gospel was incredible as at the same time I came across a vision of St Gertrude where she asked St John on what it was like to rest on Jesus' heart. He replied:
"It was my task to present to the first age of the Church the doctrine of the Word made flesh which no human intellect can ever fully comprehend. The eloquence of that sweet beating of His Heart is reserved for the last age in order that the world grown cold and torpid may be set on fire with the love of God."
St John wrote the 4th Gospel, which scholars have seriously doubted the historical accuracy of as "it was said to express a highly developed Christology" that could only have been written far after the 1st three Gospels. However, as the Pope says:
"... papyri from Egypt dating back from the beginning of the second century have been discovered; this made it clear that the Gospel must have been written in the first century, if only during the closing years. Denial of the Gospel's historical character, however, continued unabated."
I have too many thoughts about the connection between St Gertrude's vision of St John and what the Pope wrote in his book to be able to express here. All I can say is that if you are interested in Jesus, you need to read this book!

Related Link: Jesus of Nazareth by Pope Benedict XVI ~ Amazon

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