CHRIST DID NOT TEACH A PHILOSOPHY BUT SHOWED US A PATH
VATICAN CITY, 13 SEP 2009 (VIS) – At midday today Benedict XVI appeared on the balcony overlooking the internal courtyard of the Apostolic Palace of Castelgandolfo to pray the Angelus with the faithful gathered below.
Commenting on today’s Gospel text, the Pope noted how it “raises two crucial questions which I would summarise thus: ‘who is Jesus of Nazareth for you?’ and ‘is your faith translated into actions or not?'”. To the first of these questions, “Peter’s response is clear and immediate: ‘You are Christ’, in other words the Messiah. … Peter and the other Apostles, unlike most people, believed that Jesus was not only a great teacher or prophet, but much more. They had faith. They believed that God was present and worked in Him.
“However”, the Holy Father added, “immediately after this profession of faith, when for the first time Jesus openly announced that He would have to suffer and be killed, Peter opposed this prospect of torment and death. Jesus had …. to make him understand that it is not enough to believe that He is God but, impelled by charity, we have to follow Him on His journey, the journey of the cross. Jesus did not come to teach us a philosophy but to show us a path, the path that leads to life”.
Pope Benedict went on: “This path is love, which is an expression of true faith. If someone loves his neighbour with a pure and generous heart, this means he truly knows God. If on the other hand someone claims to have faith but does not love his brothers and sisters, he is not a true believer. God does not dwell in him”.
In this context the Holy Father quoted St. John Chrysostom’s commentary on the Letter of James which was the second reading of today’s Mass: “A man may have an upright faith in the Father, in the Son and in the Holy Spirit, but if he does not lead an upright life, his faith will not serve him for his salvation”.
Finally, recalling that tomorrow and the day after are, respectively, the Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross and the Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows, the Pope said: “The Virgin Mary, who believed in the Word of the Lord, did not lose her faith in God when she saw her Son rejected, humiliated and placed on the cross. She stayed near Jesus, suffering and praying unto the end. And she saw the radiant dawn of His Resurrection. Let us learn from her to bear witness to our faith through a life of humble service, ready to pay personally so as to remain faithful to the Gospel of charity and truth, in the certainty that nothing of what we do will be lost”.
ANG/FAITH CHARITY/… VIS 090914