Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Belief precedes, enables understanding of Christ's message, Pope tells audience

CWN - August 27, 2012

St. Peter and the other apostles understood the message of Jesus because they first believed in Him, Pope Benedict XVI told his Sunday Angelus audience on August 26.

Continuing his reflections on the 6th chapter of St. John’s Gospel, the Pope reminded his audience that many listeners could not accept Christ’s statement that He is the bread of life. Their problem, the Holy Father said, was that they could not look beyond the immediate material world. They hoped for an earthly leader, and when Jesus presented a different teaching, they fell away.

The apostles, however, recognized the essence of Christ’s mission, which St. Peter acknowledged by saying: “Lord, to whom shall we go. You have the words of eternal life, and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God.”

Citing a commentary of St. Augustine, the Pope pointed out that for St. Peter, belief came first, and enabled him to understand. “He does not say we have understood and then we believed, but we believed and then we understood. We have believed in order to be able to understand.”

There was an exception among the apostles, however, Pope Benedict reminded his audience. Judas did not believe. Like many others, he was disappointed that Jesus would not deliver on the promise of an earthly kingdom. "Judas could have left as many disciples did," the Pope said. “The problem is that Judas did not go away, and his most serious fault was falsehood, which is the mark of the devil.”

Additional sources for this story
Some links will take you to other sites, in a new window.

An appeal from our founder, Dr. Jeffrey Mirus:

Dear reader: If you found the information on this page helpful in your pursuit of a better Catholic life, please support our work with a donation. Your donation will help us reach five million Truth-seeking readers worldwide this year. Thank you!

Progress toward our April expenses ($20,335 to go):
$35,000.00 $14,665.48
58% 42%
Sound Off! CatholicCulture.org supporters weigh in.

All comments are moderated. To lighten our editing burden, only current donors are allowed to Sound Off. If you are a donor, log in to see the comment form; otherwise please support our work, and Sound Off!

Show 1 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: koinonia - Aug. 27, 2012 8:50 PM ET USA

    There's tremendous importance here. Our Lord asked St. Peter: "Who do you say that I am?" Each of us must answer this question with Simon. The Holy Father once again hits upon something most vital and relevant to us in a time of unprecedented distraction and distortion. Our Baptism has made us heirs. It is the Word Incarnate who works miracles within us with His undying love if only we ask. If they could not look past the "immediate world" in Christ's time, how much harder is it to do so now?

Subscribe for free
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Recent Catholic Commentary

Smaller Church, Bigger Faith, 3: Ecclesiastical Discipline 13 hours ago
The Holy Spirit and Evangelization: A Primer April 16
Journey to the Sun: A Strange Biography of Junípero Serra April 16
Russia's demographic recovery + US demographic decline = danger April 16
James Carroll strikes (at the Church) again April 16

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days