Monday, April 09, 2007

The New Testament Is Born From The Life Of The Church

"[F]ellowship with Jesus and the resultant knowledge of Jesus presupposes that we are in communication with the living subject of tradition to which all this is linked -in communication with the Church. The message of Jesus has never been able to live and mediate life except in this communion. Even the New Testament, as a book, presupposes the Church as its subject. It grew in and from the Church; its unity comes solely from the Church's faith, which brings together diverse elements into a unity. We can see this mutual involvement of tradition, knowledge and community life in all the writings of the New Testament. In order to express it, the Gospel of John and the Johannine letters coined the 'ecclesial we'. Thus, for example, in the concluding verses of the first Letter of John, we come across the formula, 'we know' three times (5:1-20). It is also to be found in Jesus' conversation with Nicodemus (Jn 3:11); in each case it points to the Church as the subject of knowledge in faith."

-Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger in Behold the Pierced One.

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