VENICE, Italy, APRIL 19, 2010 (Zenit.org).- To interpret Benedict XVI's pontificate as he completes his fifth year as Pope, a fundamental theme to consider is the primacy of God, according to Cardinal Angelo Scola.
The patriarch of Venice reflected on the five-year pontificate in a commentary for the Spanish weekly Alpha y Omega.
The "question of God" is the "central question," the cardinal wrote, citing Benedict XVI's affirmation that "God is the practical theme and the realistic theme for man, then and always."But putting God at the center, the cardinal clarified, is not an antithesis to the "centrality of man and of all created reality."
"Because the centrality of God can never go against man and the cosmos; rather, it ensures its real consistency," he explained. "To the point that, as Pope Benedict XVI has highlighted, 'if God is missing, hope falls. Everything loses depth.'"
However, this central God must be recognizable, Cardinal Scola affirmed. We must be able to "find him personally."
If God is to be the only great hope, the cardinal said, then he must be the God of Jesus Christ, not just any god.
"It is the salvific event of Jesus Christ, present in history, and hence precisely our contemporary, in an eminent way through the sacramental action, which assures us that the centrality of God is not incompatible with the centrality of the man-cosmos," he wrote.
This is the God, the cardinal said, who responds to that "question of questions [...] not the abstract question on the nature of love, but the concrete and personal question: 'In a word, does someone love me?'"
He explained: "God himself responds to this radical question revealing his name: 'Jesus has manifested God's face to us, one in essence and triune in persons: God is Love.'
"The experience of love springs for each one of us from the experience of being loved, which permanently precedes us and constitutes us; a precedence that lives Eucharistically in the Church, the People of God."
The message of Benedict XVI is directed to a people he takes seriously, the cardinal said, and not just Catholics.
"The moving dedication, the humility, and the spiritual energy with which he takes this people seriously, explains the depth of his teaching and the extraordinary listening that, for five years, he has received on the part of all, young people and adults, the simple and the erudite, from children to intellectuals and heads of state," Cardinal Scola affirmed. "Can someone them be surprised if his teaching and his person, in the footsteps of Christ, are at times a sign of contradiction?"