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The Way to the Father

  • POPE BENEDICT XVI

The Lord said to his disciples: Believe in God, believe also in me (Jn 14:1). 


ben169 They are not two separate acts but one single act of faith: full adherence to salvation wrought by God the Father through his only begotten Son. The New Testament puts an end to the Father's invisibility. God has shown his face, as Jesus' answer to the apostle Philip confirms: Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. With his Incarnation, death, and Resurrection, the Son of God has freed us from the slavery of sin to give us the freedom of the children of God and he has shown us the face of God, which is love: God can be seen, he is visible in Christ.

Saint Teresa of Ávila wrote: "the last thing we should do is to withdraw from our greatest good and blessing, which is the most sacred humanity of our Lord Jesus Christ." Therefore, only by believing in Christ, by remaining united to him, may the disciples, among whom we too are, continue their permanent action in history: Amen, Amen, I say to you, says the Lord, whoever believes in me will do the works that I do.

Faith in Jesus entails following him daily, in the simple actions that make up our day. It is part of the mystery of God that he acts so gently, that he only gradually builds up his history within the great history of man kind; that he becomes man and so can be overlooked by his contemporaries and by the decisive forces within history; that he suffers and dies and that, having risen again, he chooses to come to mankind only through the faith of the disciples to whom he reveals himself; that he continues to knock gently at the doors of our hearts and slowly opens our eyes if we open our doors to him.

For Christians, for each one of us, the way to the Father is to allow ourselves to be guided by Jesus, by his word of truth, and to receive the gift of his life. Let us make Saint Bonaventure's invitation our own: "Open, therefore, your eyes, lend your spiritual ear, open your lips and dispose your heart, so that you will be able to see, hear, praise, love, venerate, glorify, and honor your God in all creatures."

Dear friends, the commitment to proclaim Jesus Christ, the way and the truth and the life, is the main task of the Church. Let us invoke the Virgin Mary that she may always assist [us] to proclaim the Good News of salvation, that the Word of God may be spread and the number of disciples multiplied.

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Acknowledgement

benedictus Pope Benedict XVI. "The Way to the Father." from a homily (2006).

Reprinted with permission of Liberia Editrice Vaticana.

The Author

Benedict73smBenedict72Pope Benedict XVI is the author of Jesus of Nazareth, Vol II, Jesus of Nazareth, Vol I, Caritas in Veritate: Charity in Truth, Saved in Hope: Spe Salvi, God Is Love: Deus Caritas Est,The End of Time?: The Provocation of Talking about God, Truth and Tolerance: Christian Belief and World Religions, Without Roots: The West, Relativism, Christianity, Islam, Salt of the Earth: An Exclusive Interview on the State of the Church at the End of the Millennium, God and the World: Believing and Living in Our Time, In the Beginning: A Catholic Understanding of the Story of Creation and the Fall, The Spirit of the Liturgy, The Ratzinger Report: An Exclusive Interview on the State of the Church, Introduction to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, Introduction to Christianity, Called to Communion: Understanding the Church Today, Milestones: Memoirs 1927-1977, Behold the Pierced One, and God Is Near Us: The Eucharist, the Heart of Life.

Copyright © 2006 Liberia Editrice Vaticana
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