Don Divo Barsotti

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JESUS CHRIST lecture given by Don.Divo Barsotti



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At the School of Catholic Culture - Bassano del Grappa, 23 October 1989
(Transcription not revised by the speaker)
To speak of Jesus Christ is to make the transcendence of Christianity over every human religion. It means talking about the fulfillment of every aspiration and every divine plan. Therefore, the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council already said that all religions are an "evangelical preparation" because the whole history of the world is nothing but the gestation of Christ. History has no other content than this gestation: from all the dreams, all the tribulations, all the difficulties of humanity must rise slowly, emerge the figure of Christ Jesus. It is all the earth that must give its fruit in him and it is precisely in giving its fruit that the present economy will come to an end.
Just as the Heavenly Father generates the Son and in the generation of the Son exhausts his infinite fruitfulness, so the history of the world is exhausted and finds an end when from all Creation the fruit of all the earth will emerge: Jesus Christ.
Then to speak of Christ would mean speaking of the whole life of the universe, it means understanding the meaning of the whole of history, it means knowing what is truly the heart of the world and is wider than the world. Let us begin then.
There has been talk of an "evangelical preparation": we must say that Christianity is the religion that all transcends and is the only true one, because we must begin with what is Christian dogma. Other religions cannot conceive a direct relationship with God without losing the true concept of God. If God is infinite transcendence can a creature ever enter into a relationship with Him? If God is relationship with the creature then this is no longer a creature, it must be a form of God: it is the form in which Islamism falls.
Or it is what Hinduism teaches us: we are all waves of the same sea, there is no longer any qualitative difference between the creature and the Creator because there is no creature. There is only God who manifests Himself in the multiplicity of forms.
But in this concept God no longer exists. If I have a notion of God, I must think that between the creature and the Creator the abyss is infinite and impassable. God lives an infinite and eternal solitude. God is unique and his uniqueness places him at an infinite distance from every creature. There is no less distance between a stone and God than there is between an angel and God, because the distance is infinite.
But then how to live this relationship?
How is a religion possible?
It has been said: the only way to live a religion would be to believe that everything is one. You are that. But I don't feel like God, I'm not God. I am neither omnipotent nor omniscient: I am a poor creature of one day. How will I live my relationship with God?
Then in Judaism God speaks to man, in Islam God speaks to man through the Koran and the Koran is eternal like God.
But precisely the word may mean the will of God, but it is not yet God; the word says the relationship with the thing. If God speaks to me, God's word is not God: it communicates, it promises, nothing more. In fact, the prophetic word in the Old Testament is prophecy, it is the announcement of what is to come, and in this respect then, the Old Testament is really preparation for Christ: everything prepares him, everything announces him, everything in some way anticipates him.
As far as Islam is concerned, since the word of the Koran is not prophetic, the word of God is only law and religious life is identified in pure juridicalism. Doing what God has said puts you in the condition of being approved by Him, but there is no union with God. There have been mystics in Islam who have been martyred precisely because they thought they could love God and, worse still for them, that God could love man. Between God and man the abyss remains, so much so that Mohammed himself according to Islamic thought, when he is brought towards God, he must stop at a stone throw from Him, because he cannot approach. Man and God cannot meet. The psalmist says: "If God touches the mountains, the mountains smoke". Can the creature bear the weight of divine glory? Then what does the legal religion promise man? Salvation? It cannot be a salvation only the promise of gardens with gushing waters, it cannot be a salvation of man only black-eyed maidens. It cannot be that!
God can be relationship with man because relationship in himself: this is the first great truth of Christianity. God is not a non-living God, a dead God, he is a living God.
If he is a living God, he is a loving God. But love supposes the lover and the beloved, knowledge supposes one who knows and the thing known and in God there is precisely this possibility because even though He is One in nature He is Triune in the person. The Father communicates everything to the Son, the Son communicates himself to the Father and lives in this eternal communion. READ...