Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Catholics believe in loving and living "the Word"

“Sanctify them in the truth.” Jesus adds: “Your word is truth.”

The disciples are thus drawn deep within God by being immersed in the word of God. The word of God is, so to speak, the bath which purifies them, the creative power which transforms them into God’s own being. So then, how do things stand in our own lives? Are we truly pervaded by the word of God? Is that word truly the nourish­ment we live by, even more than bread and the things of this world? Do we really know that word? Do we love it? Are we deeply engaged with this word to the point that it really leaves a mark on our lives and shapes our thinking? Or is it rather the case that our think­ing is constantly being shaped by all the things that others say and do?

Aren’t prevailing opinions the cri­terion by which we all too often mea­sure ourselves? Do we not perhaps re­main, when all is said and done, mired in the superficiality in which people today are generally caught up? Do we allow ourselves truly to be deeply pu­rified by the word of God? Friedrich Nietzsche scoffed at humility and obe­dience as the virtues of slaves, a source of repression. He replaced them with pride and man’s absolute freedom. Of course there exist caricatures of a mis­guided humility and a mistaken sub­missiveness, which we do not want to imitate. But there also exist a destruc­tive pride and a presumption which tear every community apart and result in violence. Can we learn from Christ the correct humility which corre­sponds to the truth of our being, and the obedience which submits to truth, to the will of God?

“Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth”: This word of inclusion in the priesthood lights up our lives and calls us to become ever anew dis­ciples of that truth which is revealed in the word of God.

-- Pope Benedict's Chrism Mass homily, 9 April 2009

( Photo: Pope Benedict XVI holds a candle during the Easter vigil mass in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, on April 11, 2009. Alberto Pizzoli/AFP/Getty Images)

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