Thursday, December 23, 2010

Quote of the Day

Did Jesus really exist?

Well, yes, he did, and yes he does. We look for proof of Christ in many different places, none of them where he is. If we spend too much time looking in ancient Palestine, we won’t see the rest of history. If we demand the documentary evidence about Bethlehem, we forget what’s going on next door.

Christ lived, and yes, Christ died, and Christ lives today in his resurrection. His life in every Christian* is how he lives in history, and how he lives next door. Of course the hierarchy has fouled up the story. Pope Benedict is on the mark now, with very little very late. He says, in his Christmas message, "We must ask ourselves what was wrong in our proclamation, in our whole way of living the Christian life, to allow [the clergy sex abuse scandal] to happen."

Despite its foibles, despite its weaknesses, the church we see in Rome is only a fraction of its wealth. The real center, the real wealth of Christianity toils day by dreary day at ordinary jobs, lives ordinary lives, prays ordinary prayers. To me, that is the key. It’s not the history or the artifacts; it’s not the manuscripts and scrolls. It’s how the story is lived.

– Phyllis Zagano
"Finding Christ at Christmas"
The National Catholic Reporter
December 22, 2010

* Actually, I wouldn't limit Christ to living only in Christians. Christ – God's spirit of compassion and justice – is within every human and imbued throughout all creation. The names we give this sacred, transforming presence my vary from religion to religion and culture to culture, but the omnipresent reality of it remains.

Image: “In His Image” by Bill Zdinak.

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