2008-10-08 17:17:18

Pope Benedict XVI says St. Paul Spoke of Historical Jesus

(08 Oct 08 - RV) Pope Benedict XVI continued his catechesis of St. Paul during his weekly general audience on Wednesday. We have this report... RealAudioMP3

Over the past number of weeks Pope Benedict has spoken on the figure of St Paul during his weekly audience.

This week the Holy Father continued his catechesis on this great Saint focusing on Wednesday on Paul’s relationship to the so-called historical Jesus.

In a celebrated passage Paul states that “even though we once knew Christ according to the flesh, we no longer know him in that way” (2 Cor 5:16). Here the Apostle does not claim that he knew Jesus during his earthly ministry, but rather that he once considered Jesus from a merely human standpoint. Significantly, Paul’s knowledge of Christ came from the preaching of the early Church. Both his initial rejection of Jesus and – after his conversion on the road to Damascus – his preaching of the glorified Christ were based on the Gospel as proclaimed by the first Christian community.

The Pope went on to say that in his Letters, St Paul refers explicitly to the facts of Jesus’ earthly life, as well as to his teaching.

His Letters also reflect many central themes and images drawn from the preaching of Jesus. Paul’s teaching on the Jesus’ identity as the Son of the Father, in whom we receive redemption and adoptive sonship, is clearly derived from the Lord’s own experience and teaching. In a word, Paul’s knowledge of Jesus and his proclamation of the risen Lord as God’s Son and our Saviour, was grounded in the life and preaching of Jesus himself.

One of those who was at the audience in St Peter’s Square was Bishop of Duluth in the United States, Dennis Schnurr.

At the conclusion of his weekly Audience Pope Benedict had warms words of encouragement for diaconal candidates from the Pontifical North American College and he also greeted all those pilgrims who had come from many countries to see him.

I warmly greet all the English-speaking pilgrims, and in a special way, diaconal candidates from the Pontifical North American College with their families: may the grace of Holy Orders enliven you to preach the Gospel of Christ with conviction and love! I also welcome pilgrims from the Diocese of Hamilton, members of Christ Teens Malaysia, ecumenical pilgrims from Norway, as well as visitors from Indonesia, China, Japan, Australia, Sweden, England, Scotland, Ireland, and the Netherlands. God bless you all!

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