Ratzinger on “Covenant”

Here are 3 great Ratzinger quotes I found on the theme of “covenant” while writing a Scripture paper.

“Image of God” and “Covenant”

“When we say that man is the image of God, it means that he is a being designed for relationship; it means that, in and through all his relationships, he seeks that relation which is the ground of his existence. In this context, covenant would be the response to man’s imaging of God; it would show us who we are and who God is. And for God, since he is entirely relationship, covenant would not be something external in history, apart from his being, but the manifestation of his self, the “radiance of his countenance”. (Ratzinger, Joseph. Many Religions—One Covenant: Israel, the Church, and the World. Translated by Graham Harrison. (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 1999), 76–77).

“Sabbath” and “Covenant”

“The Sabbath is the sign of the covenant between God and man; it sums up the inward essence of the covenant. If this is so, then we can now define the intention of the account of creation as follows: creation exists to be a place for the covenant that God wants to make with man. The goal of creation is the covenant, the love story of God and man” (Ratzinger, Joseph. The Spirit of the Liturgy. Translated by John Saward. (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 2000), 26).

“Eucharist” and “Covenant”

We come up here against the real mark of the “New Covenant”: in Christ, God has bound himself to men, has let himself be bound by them. The New Covenant no longer rests on the reciprocal keeping of the agreement; it is granted by God as grace that abides even in the face of man’s faithlessness. It is the expression of God’s love, which will not let itself be defeated by man’s incapacity but always remains well disposed toward him, welcomes him again and again precisely because he is sinful, turns to him, sanctifies him, and loves him. ~ Ratzinger, J. (2004). Introduction to Christianity (Revised Edition). (J. R. Foster, Trans.) (p. 341). San Francisco: Ignatius Press.

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