Proceeding from the prayerful dialogue between the Incarnate Son and his Eternal Father, Joseph Ratzinger shows how one can approach the mystery of the Heart of Christ only through the imitation of this prayer. To know and understand Jesus we must participate in his prayer. The prayer of Christ must be the interior life of all who are joined to him in his Body, the Church. Using the Old and New Testaments and the Church Fathers, Ratzinger shows that the ecclesial community (the Church) was born from the pierced Heart of Christ on the Cross.
Aimed at stirring your affections for Jesus, this meditative book will lead you on a step-by-step journey through the Gospels’ birth narratives, clearing away common misconceptions, making messianic connections, and setting the stage for Jesus’s later life and ministry.
Beginning with the Twelve as the foundation of Jesus' re-establishment of the Holy People of God, Pope Benedict examines the story of the early followers of Christ. He draws on Scripture and early tradition to consider such important figures as Peter, Andrew, James and John, and even Judas Iscariot. Benedict moves beyond the original Twelve to discuss Paul of Tarsus, the persecutor of Christianity who became one of Jesus' greatest disciples. Also considered are Stephen, the first Christian martyr, Barnabas, Timothy, Titus, the wife and husband "team" of Priscilla and Aquila, and such key women figures as Mary, the Mother of Jesus, Mary Magdalene, and Phoebe.
Jesus, the Apostles and the Early Church is a fascinating journey back to the origins of Christianity. It reveals how Jesus' earliest disciples faithfully conveyed the truth about the "Jesus of history" and how they laid the foundations for the Church, through whom people today can know the same Jesus.