Today's catechesis - continuing his series on Apostolic Tradition
Excerpt: Tradition is, therefore, the living Gospel, proclaimed by the apostles in its integrity, in virtue of the plentitude of her unique and unrepeatable experience: By her work, faith is communicated to others, until it reaches us, until the end of the world. Tradition, therefore, is the history of the Spirit that acts in the history of the Church through the mediation of the Apostles and their successors, in faithful continuity with the experience of the origins.
It is what Pope St. Clement of Rome explained toward the end of the first century: "The Apostles," he wrote, "proclaimed the Gospel to us sent by the Lord Jesus Christ; Jesus Christ was sent by God. Christ, therefore, comes from God, the Apostles from Christ: Both proceed in an orderly way from the will of God. Our Apostles knew through our Lord Jesus Christ that disputes would arise around the episcopal function. Therefore, foreseeing the future perfectly, they established the chosen ones and ordered them that at their death other men of proven virtue assume their service" [Ad Corinthios," 42.44: PG 1, 292.296].
This chain of service continues to our day; it will continue until the end of the world. In fact, the mission entrusted by Jesus to the apostles has been transmitted by them to their successors. Beyond the experience of personal contact with Christ, unique and unrepeatable, the apostles transmitted to their successors the solemn sending to the world received from the Master. The word apostle comes in fact from the Greek term "apostellein," which means to send.
...Thus, though in a manner different from the apostles, we also have an authentic and personal experience of the presence of the Risen Lord. Thanks to the apostolic ministry, Christ himself comes to one who is called to the faith, overcoming the distance of the ages and offering himself, living and working, today in the Church and the world.
This is our great joy. In the living river of Tradition, Christ is not separated from us by 2,000 years of distance, but is really present among us and gives us Truth, gives us Light and makes us live and find the Way to the future.