Saturday, December 15, 2007

Book Review by Cardinal Ruini

Camillo Cardinal Ruini addressed the Roman Clergy recently and, amongst other things, presented a powerful review and analysis of Pope Benedict's book Jesus of Nazareth. Sandro Magister reports on the talk and includes the text of the section dealing with the Holy Father's Christological masterpiece. Below are a few excerpts.

One question that Ruini examines is the political question. What sort of social and political structure might be derived from such a seemingly apolitical lesson of Jesus as the Sermon on the Mount?

Ruini's answer – in the light of the book by Benedict XVI – is that Jesus has freed political and social structures from any pretense of sacredness and of "divine right," entrusting them instead to human freedom.
In reality, it is only by beginning with God that one can understand man, and it is only when man lives in relationship with God that his life becomes authentic: this is the meaning of the Sermon on the Mount, which delineates, in its overturning of false values, a complete picture of authentic humanity.
With the parable of the good Samaritan, however, Jesus shows us that there is no question of establishing who is or is not my neighbor: the question concerns me, I must become neighbor, so that the other - anyone else, universally - matters as much to me as I do. The relevance of the parable is obvious. If we apply it to the dimensions of globalized society, the robbed and plundered populations of Africa – and not only of Africa – concern us intimately, and demand our attention from a twofold point of view: because through the events of our history, through our lifestyle, we have contributed and still contribute to despoiling them, and because, instead of giving them God, the God who is close to us in Jesus Christ, we have brought the cynicism of a world without God.
Click over to Chiesa and read the Cardinal's whole analysis. Then, click over to Ignatius Press or Amazon and order the book. A better Christmas present for the soul and mind will be hard to find.

Incidentally, I recently bought the book on disc and have been listening during the twice daily frustration of driving -- it is truly making the "rush" hour parking experience more fruitful!

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