Wednesday, July 10, 2013

The pope gives us freedom with Jesus

In Jesus of Nazareth - From the Baptism in the Jordan to the Transfiguration written by Pope Benedict, he discusses the idea of freedom in regards to belief in Jesus. The Pope mentions that Jesus brought "universality" to this world.

I love this because I believe it shows that Jesus expressed that God loves everyone on earth, and that His message of love is for all of us. This is different from our modern messages about people, which seem to focus so much on our differences.

The Pope adds that, "The vehicle for this universalization is the new family, whose only admission requirement is communion with Jesus, communion with God's will."

This is such a simple, positive message. Jesus, through his words of peace and love, welcomes all people. No one is exempt. Everyone can join Him. What a difference from the words we hear so much today in politics and religion.

I hope you will join me in this conversation.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Words from a Pope

I have been reading Jesus of Nazareth written by Pope Benedict XVI, Joseph Ratzinger, a challenging, but enlightening read. The first of three books on the life of Jesus, this series is worth the time to read for any Catholic or anyone else interested in learning about Jesus.

In the coming weeks, I would like to focus on a few key lines from the book. In Chapter 4 on "The Sermon on the Mount", the Pope discusses a book titled A Rabbi Talks with Jesus, written by Rabbi Jacob Neusner. The Pope mentions how Rabbi Neusner considers about the different beliefs of Jews and Christians, but adds that Neusner does this with reverence and respect.
The Pope writes, "This dialogue is conducted with great honesty. It highlights the differences in all their sharpness, but it also takes place in great love."

This is really important for us all to think about. Sure, we humans will always have our differences, but we don't have to fight over them. I think Pope Benedict was exactly right in highlighting this point here.

What do you think?