The Challenge of Jesus of Nazareth | Fr. James V. Schall, S.J. | August 11, 2010 | Ignatius Insight
"Jesus attaches great importance to being in continuity with the Scripture, in continuity with God's history with men. The whole Gospel of John, as well as the Synoptic Gospels and the entirety of the New Testament writings, justify faith in Jesus by showing that all the currents of Scripture come together in him, that he is the focal point in terms of which the overall coherence of Scripture comes to light—everything is waiting for him, everything is moving toward him." -- Benedict XVI, Jesus of Nazareth: From the Baptism in the Jordan to the Transfiguration (Ignatius Press, 2008; paperback edition), 246.
"For we did not follow cleverly devised myths when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eye-witnesses of his majesty. For when he received honor and glory from God the Father and the voice was born to him by the Majestic Glory, 'This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased' we heard this voice borne from heaven, for we were with him on the holy mountain." -- 2 Peter, 1:16-18.
Ignatius Press announced recently that it will publish the English version of the second volume of Benedict's book on Jesus of Nazareth in the coming spring. In lieu of the fact that Schall has no advanced text or a copy of the Italian translation, it seems worth while again to take a second look at the first volume. This volume, I must confess, left an indelible impression on my soul. I found it frankly breath-taking in its implications, yet it was presented so calmly and clearly.
Jesus of Nazareth was nothing less than a challenge thrown down to our times. But our times take special care not to listen, never really to consider what Benedict is saying. It is too dangerous to the culture to do so, and not just Western culture. Not considering or denying its pertinence is the protection which modern men must have to continue to do what they are doing. That they "will not listen" is, indeed, their only defense.
Once anyone grasps what Benedict is saying, he will see, in Peter's words, that the pope is not speaking of "cleverly devised myths." He too relies on the reports of eye-witnesses, on those who have seen and heard.