Thursday, May 22, 2008

Chapter One: The Baptism Of Jesus

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3 comments:

Jesse said...

Alright, finally to Chapter I...

If you haven't read this chapter yet, or if you have and might want to read it again, I'd urge you do so in a meditative way, slowly and allowing the images to work their magic (images like "liquid tomb").

In this chapter Ratzinger touches on the mystery of Christ being baptized; a ritual really for sinners. I think he manages wonderfully... Now, I want to leave room for your comments, so I'll just offer one of my own.

On page 18 Ratzinger gives us the key to undertsanding Jesus baptism. I won't give the full context, but the remark about Jesus' baptism "anticipat[ing]" the Cross, and the voice which spoke "anticipat[ing]" the Ressurection"; well, it was a powerful and impressive point. Everything from there, I think, beautifully falls into place, and, again, I urge a real close attention to the imagery here...

Butchie Boy Olmstead said...

Argh! I dont want to give in to feelings I am terrible at this! ( ..reading & studying a book communally )- but alas... here I am, at looong last, and only now hoping to offer a comment or two on Chapter One! Even as I re-entered I thought ( oye! )- here's hoping I also remember how I posted "in" last time... what with "word verification" and trusting I'll remember my password again! ( i really only use one of several ). But- other iron in the fire... and my Radio stations 10th Anniversary gathering from June 27-29 down South etc.

But am not wearied of my most recent new theologian- Joe Ratzinger... upon whom the finger of God the son has a(point)ed upon that rock.

I appreciated that at the outset of Chapter One we are not merely left with dangling latin mottos... but that Et Incarnatus Est is fearlessly indentifiable within the contexts of secular history. Quit more familiar to the choir no doubt- but still a sturdy reminder that fixed establishments and placement in true space-and-time ( "...in the 15th yr. of the reign of Tiberius" et al )- simply not the sort of information to be rendered, let alone to be thought necessary in the Upanishads or other mere "characterizations of the collective human ideas of divinity" ( C. Isherwood on "..the idea of Krishna" in his forward for the Eng. trans. of the Baghavadgita -1966 ) Isherwoods forward was my final "exit" light from Hinduism when I realized we may just as well have been worshiping Spider Man at the Vedanta Temple in Santa Barbara in those "hip" trancendental years! But our Christian scriptures place themselves as the unmistakable and identifiable accountings of historicum factum- practically challenging us to refute their actual placement here!

I liked the Popes addition that it was/is not merely about provable chronology... but the conjunctions of "...two orders of reality" and the implications that would make spark & fuel for conflict... best mentioned in our "...Rendering to Ceasar the things which are Ceasars... and to God that which is Gods!" Ratzinger mentions "...the essential combatibility" of the two worlds ( such as I imagine of a so-called "perfect world" when from time-to-time we might enjoy one! ) - but soon enough fallen meglomania asserts itself; and with it our call to "obey God more than men." Even as we render to Ceasar all that seems to be his... his and all other corroded crowns are ultimatlely on-the-dole at the end of the day... and "...all that is Cesars" is actually Gods. But try telling Ceasar that once imperial power has gone divine! I am reminded of 1st Chron. 29:10-16. Even what we "give" back to Him is His already.

I loved everything the Pope had to say on Christs baptism... and all that Jesus announced as "..fitting to fulfill all righteousness" - even of and by Him "..Who knew no sin"! I was myself taken not only of this mystery which was Christs Own submission to baptism- the "bearing of the yoke of Gods Kingdom", which was likewise the "unrestricted yes" to the Will of the Father... but also the mystery of our own revulsion as we see it expressed and enacted by the baptist! We'd have surely said the same! "...YOU ask to be baptized by ME???" But remember too Peter's own shock and confused revulsion in John 13:6! "..YOU wish to was MY feet???" But like the baptist Peter would be awakened. As Ratzinger writes: "...The WHOLE of righteousness must be fullfilled. In Jesus' world righteousness is mans answer to the the Torah... the acceptance of the WHOLE of Gods will." I had read somewhere that "...Righteousness is the only rational, reasonable response of 'being' to its Holy Creator."

Sooo much of Christ as "..the Lamb of God" and the "death" simili in baptism in pgs. 18 and 19!... wherein I was moved to read Gen. 22! And the Popes poignant description that is also our invitiation:

"...to go to the place of Jesus' baptism.. to go where He identifies Himself with us- and to recieve there our identification with Him." ( Pg. 18 para 2c )

So much I really wish to touch upon... but SO late! ( 2:24am! ) But may I rush to a closing word at Chapters end- and a discomfort at seeming an "upstart" to possibly differ with his remark on pg. 24 ( mid-page ) when he writes- "...The texts give us no window into Jesus's inner life." Do I take this out of context, or misunderstand? In any case I thought immediatly of John 13:3-4 which does (?) seem to illumine an "inner" Jesus:

"...And, Jesus knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He had come from God and was going to God; rose from the supper..."

Any thoughts on the the Lords?

Lord hug you tight...

- C.W. Butch Olmstead

Jesse said...

Hey Butch. Been a little busy lately. I'll get back to you as soon as I can with some comments. Please don't hold back on Chapter II if you have any comments to post before me...

Talk to you soon...

Jesse