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Pope Benedict XVI- Jesus of Nazareth

I found the book by Pope Benedict XVI an excellent historical depiction of Jesus not portrayed by modern culture, but one of the true historical perspectives according to the Early Church and resources of the Catholic Church. There is no the most commonly used plot as Jesus ’life. This is the first book about Jesus Christ ever written by a Roman Catholic Pontiff. But this book is unique, because the author is Pope himself and Pope assumes the position of an ordinary believer. The book of Pope Benedict XVI ” Jesus of Nazareth” is not a learned scholar of religion, not history or research methodology, but personal experience in understanding of Jesus. The author is level with his interlocutor- all the people, he addressed to. Both humility and courage you can find out in this golden deed. The author highlighted the main problem Christianity faces nowadays. The dramatic reality of our times is the fact that, for the first time in two thousand years, the majority of the people could lose their perception of the only thing that always inspired them the Personality of Christ. In my opinion there is an urgent need for books like that by Benedict XVI to make sure that it will not happen. His aim is to save the personality of Jesus from ‘popular’ depictions and to restore Jesus’ gospel identity. Pope shows the readers a rich, flesh-and-blood incarnation of Christ. One of the characteristics of Jesus’ portrait is Love, which fills all the pages and leads the author. As for the author himself, he is shown as a usual believer, trying to express his own thoughts and opinions. He writes, that “Everyone is free, then to contradict me. I would only ask my readers for that initial willingness to sympathize, without which there can be no understanding.” (Foreword, XXIV) We read in ‘Jesus of Nazareth’, that “the great question that will be with us throughout this entire book: But what has Jesus really brought, then, if he has not brought world peace, universal prosperity, and a better world? What has he brought? The answer is very simple: God. He has brought God! He has brought the God who once gradually unveiled his countenance first to Abraham, then to Moses and the prophets, and then in the wisdom literature—the God who showed his face only in Israel, even though he was also honored among the pagans in various shadowy guises. It is this God, the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob, the true God, whom he has brought to the peoples of the earth. He has brought God, and now we know his face, now we can call upon him. Now we know the path that we human beings have to take in this world. Jesus has brought God and with God the truth about where we are going and where we come from: faith, hope, and love.” Pope is well-known by his sharp criticism of capitalization of modern society, spiritual enslavement of developing countries. He doesn’t hide his position in the book. Considering the faith in the modern world, Joseph Ratzinger tells what it means to be a witness of Christ nowadays. In the terms of indifferent and even hostile world it is becoming a personal risk. The world has greatly changed. Seeking for well-to-do lifestyle, in many cases people forget about soul and faith. This point is best stated by Pope Benedict XVI. “The aid offered by the West to developing countries has been purely technically and materially based and not only has left God out of the picture, but has driven Men away from God. And this aid claiming to know better is itself what first turned the "third world into what we mean today by that term. It has thrust aside indigenous religions, ethical and social structures and filled the resulting vacuum with a technocratic mind-set. The idea we could turn stones into bread; instead our aid has only given stones in its place.” (‘Jesus of Nazareth’, p.33) I was greatly impressed the fact, that the author depicts Jesus as someone alive, who is known well to everybody. That’s true, because Christianity is ‘meeting’ with God in the person of human, with God, who is everyone’s intimate friend. Love to Christ is above all. That’s why Pope Benedict XVI decided to tell his own words about Christ and his words were heard. Having read the book, I was greatly interested in the personality of Pope Benedict XVI. He is not a dull theologian, but a thinking and decisive person, who has strong views on life. Especially I liked his manner of speaking about habitual things, uncovering their core.

 

 


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