Thursday, December 16, 2010

Blast from the Past: the political Jesus

There is blast from the past in the New Statesman this week, an article by Mehdi Hasan: What would Jesus do?
In the 70s we used to try and make Jesus fit in with our personal political ideologies, ultimately making him in our own image likeness. I know Catholics do it, but it is essentially a Protestant sport, using his words as a proof text to support banker bashing, the NHS or whatever.

The glory of Catholicism is that we can live with paradox and have to in order to safeguard the unity of the Church. It is the same Christ who inspired the hermit to live in the cleft of the rock and the prince bishop to reform his diocese or the king to legislate justly or the parent to provide for his child. Catholicism teaches a Christ who always calls to do more but ultimately to enter into a relationship with him. Our reading of the Bible is not find words to defeat our enemies or bolster our opinions but to enter into Communion with him: not so much taking the Divine to ourselves but allowing Him to Divinise us and through us the world.
Yes justice, truth, integrity, are part of the message but at the heart is love of God and our neighbour, a reaching beyond the imprisonment of self to the other.

5 comments:

Left-Footer said...

Amen!

pelerin said...

Completely off topic but news just in of the new Papal Nuncio to Britain - see Damian Thompson's blog.

Fr Ray Blake said...

thanks Pelerin, just posted it.

epsilon said...

"The glory of Catholicism is that we can live with paradox and have to in order to safeguard the unity of the Church. It is the same Christ who inspired the hermit to live in the cleft of the rock and the prince bishop to reform his diocese or the king to legislate justly or the parent to provide for his child. Catholicism teaches a Christ who always calls to do more but ultimately to enter into a relationship with him. Our reading of the Bible is not find words to defeat our enemies or bolster our opinions but to enter into Communion with him: not so much taking the Divine to ourselves but allowing Him to Divinise us and through us the world.
Yes justice, truth, integrity, are part of the message but at the heart is love of God and our neighbour, a reaching beyond the imprisonment of self to the other."

A most profound piece of insight, Father, that I really need right now as I hear you from inside my own personal prison, alongside watching/listening to an iplayer recording of "Folk at the BBC" from the 60s/70s.

SPQRatae said...

While I won't waste any time reading the Statesmen article, I do rather like that image - a good antidote to the ubiquitous, feminized, 'Jesus is your teddy bear' image foisted on us rather too much nowadays.