Tuesday, November 6, 2018

"Blessed is he that shall eat bread in the kingdom of God"

Luke 14:15 (Gospel of Tuesday of 31st Week of Ordinary Time)

The Primacy of God

The temptation of Christ (Matt. 4:1-11) summarizes the entire struggle of Jesus: it is about the nature of his mission, but at the same time it is also, in general, about the right ordering of human life, about the way to be human, about the way of history. Finally, it is about what is really important in the life of man. This ultimate thing, this decisive thing, is the primacy of God. The germ of all temptation is setting God aside, so that he seems to be a secondary concern when compared with all the urgent priorities of our lives. To consider ourselves, the needs and desires of the moment to be more important than he is--that is the temptation that always besets us. For in doing so we deny God his divinity, and we make ourselves, or rather, the powers that threaten us, into our god. 86-87

...Where God is viewed as something secondary, which can be set aside temporarily or altogether for the sake of more important things, then precisely these supposedly more important things fail. The negative results of the Marxist experiment are not the only proof of this. Western aid to developing countries--assistance that is based solely upon technological and materialistic principles--not only has left God out of the picture, but also has driven people away from God by proudly claiming to 'know better' and is responsible for turning the third world into the Third World, as that is understood today. It has put aside the indigenous, religious, moral, and social structures and puts its own technological mentality into the empty space. The West believed that it could turn stones into bread, but it has given stones instead of bread. We must acknowledge once more the primacy of God and of his Word--that was the point of celebrating the year 2000, and that is still the point. Naturally, one can ask why God did not make a world in which his presence would be more evident; why Christ did not leave behind another sign of his presence that would impress everyone irresistibly with its splendor. We live in this world where God is not so manifest as tangible things are but can only be sought and found through a fundamental change of heart, through the "Exodus" from "Egypt". In this world we must oppose the deceptions of false philosophies and recognize that we do not live on bread alone but, first and foremost, on obedience to God's Word. And only when this obedience is put into practice does the attitude develop that is also capable of providing bread for all. 90-91

Joseph Ratzinger, On the Way to Jesus Christ, San Francisco: Ignatius, 2005.
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