Wednesday 13 March 2013

Faith, and Jesus

Rossi de Gasperis asks, does not grace follow nature, and should not faith be in harmony with reason? does not the spirit presuppose the flesh and the psyche? And further: this harmony between the psychic and spiritual dimensions of our evangelical destiny, should it follow an ascending order or a descending one? In other words, should we begin with nature in order to arrive at grace, or from grace, which will then elevate nature? Should we begin from Simon in order to arrive at Peter, or will Peter awaken Simon into a horizon that is completely unexpected and unlimited? But: beginning from Simon, will we ever reach Peter?

Jesus begins with a dramatic call to his person: 'Follow Me!' (Lk 5:27) ... The power of such a call lies in the ME of Jesus. This ME creates an order of things that is completely new and transcendent, even if the composition of the group will present progressive tensions and dramatic risks of failure, continuous discussions about who is the greatest, up to Peter's denial and Judas' betrayal. The fact is that none of them was really up to the task proposed (cf Lk 9:62). Only the fascination and the heart of Jesus could give rise to that miracle of grace and of nature that was and is the Church of the New Testament. We remember that also with Abraham and the patriarchs of Israel the Lord did not begin with their (inadequate) moral dispositions, but from pure faith. Faith and salvation are gifts offered to a people that is not yet healthy, a people who is unprepared and unpreparable, who however has an extreme need of them! (140-141)

And so: how did I come to faith? Only one answer: the fascination, the heart of Jesus that breaks in upon the busy day and calls: Follow ME. There is no reasoned discourse into the faith, there is no syllogistic ladder when it comes to faith in Jesus. There is only fascination, which is another name for a love that does not need to respect the old adage, Nihil amatum nisi cognitum. 

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