Sandro Magister comments on and posts in full Pope Benedict’s pre-Christmas address to the Roman curia three day.
..To be disciples of Christ – what does this mean? In the first place, it means coming to know him. How does this happen? It is an invitation to listen to him as He speaks to us in the text of the Sacred Scripture, as He addresses himself to us and comes to meet us in the common prayer of the Church, in the Sacraments, and in the witness of the saints.
One can never get to know Christ only theoretically. One can master the knowledge of the Sacred Scriptures, without ever having met Him. Integral to knowing Him is walking together with Him, entering into his sentiments, as the letter to the Philippians says (2:5). Paul briefly describes these sentiments as follows: having the same love, forming together one soul (sýmpsychoi), going in agreement, not doing anything out of rivalry or vainglory, each not looking out only for his own interests, but also for those of others (2:24).
Catechesis can never be only an intellectual instruction, it must also always become an apprenticeship in communion of life with Christ, an exercise in humility, justice, and love. Only in this way do we walk together with Jesus Christ along his way; only in this way is the eye of our heart opened; only in this way do we learn to understand the Scriptures, and encounter Him.
The encounter with Jesus Christ requires listening, it requires a response in prayer and in the practice of what He tells us. In coming to know Christ, we come to know God, and it is only by beginning from God that we understand man and the world, a world that otherwise remains a meaningless question.
Becoming disciples of Christ is, therefore, a journey of education toward our true being, toward authentic human existence.
…In this regard, I am pleased to recall the letter kindly sent to me last October 13 by 138 Muslim religious leaders, to testify to their common commitment to the promotion of peace in the world. With joy I responded by expressing my steadfast adherence to such noble intentions, and at the same time emphasizing the urgency of a common effort for the protection of the values of mutual respect, dialogue, and collaboration. Shared recognition of the existence of one God, the provident Creator and universal Judge of each one’s behavior, constitutes the premise of common action in defense of the effective respect of the dignity of each human person, to build a more just and supportive society.
But does this desire for dialogue and collaboration at the same time mean, perhaps, that we can no longer transmit the message of Jesus Christ, no longer propose to men and to the world this call and the hope that is derived from it? Those who have recognized a great truth, those who have found a great joy must transmit it; they simply cannot keep it for themselves. Gifts so great are never intended for just one person.