Pope Benedict on Demanding Signs and Revelation
For the past couple of months, I’ve been slowly working on Pope Benedict XVI’s Jesus of Nazareth Volume 1 (yes, I know, I’m 5 years behind).
So far, it is proving to be quite the excellent piece. Pope Benedict is such a solid thinker and is able to articulate many of his points in digestible nuggets of knowledge, wisdom and biblical support. Depending on your level of understanding and your faith journey, I would suggest breaking it apart in smaller sessions (I for one find that if I spend more than 5-15 minutes on it, it becomes complicated). Some may be able to spend more time on it, others less.
I will probably do a more thorough analysis after I have completed it. However, this paragraph really struck me, as I am now trying my best to work on evangelizing. Pope Benedict is analyzing Jesus’ parable of the beggar Lazarus, who dies and goes to Heaven, meanwhile the rich man who ignored him went to Hell. The rich man in Hell sees Lazarus in Heaven next to Abraham, and asks Abraham to allow him (the rich man) to go back to earth to warn his brothers (who are also rich). This is a similar argument we hear today…”if only you will do this God…then I will believe”.
“The rich man, looking up to Abraham from Hades, says what so many people, both then and now, say or would like to say to God: ‘If you really want us to believe in you and organize our lives in accord with the revealed word of the Bible, you’ll have to make yourself clearer. Send us someone from the next world who can tell us that it is really so.’ The demand for signs, the demand for more evidence of Revelation, is an issue that runs through the entire Gospel. Abraham’s answer – like Jesus’ answer to his contemporaries’ demand for signs in other contexts – is clear: If people do not believe the word of Scripture, then they will not believe someone coming from the next world either. The highest truths cannot be forced into the type of empirical evidence that only applies to material reality.” -Pope Benedict XVI “Jesus of Nazareth Volume 1” (p.216)
How often do we hear of people demanding signs, yet don’t believe Our Lady of Fatima, Our Lady of Lourdes, Our Lady of (insert favorite Marian Apparition here).