Pope Francis again asked the faithful to carry a small Gospel in their pocket, in their purse, to read it during the day, to hear that word with Jesus’ authority. “We all have problems, let us ask Jesus to heal our sins and our evils.”
Silvonei José – Vatican News
“This Sunday’s Gospel passage narrates a typical day of Jesus’ ministry; in particular, it is a Saturday, a day dedicated to rest and prayer”: this is how Pope Francis began his address this Sunday that preceded the Marian Prayer of the Angelus , recited, as on previous Sundays, in the Library of the Apostolic Palace in the Vatican, due to the coronavirus pandemic.
In the Capernaum synagogue, – the Pope continued – Jesus reads and comments on the Scriptures. Those present are attracted by the way he speaks; they marvel because he demonstrates an authority different from that of the scribes. Furthermore, Jesus is also powerful in his works. In fact, a man in the synagogue turns against him, questioning him as the Envoy of God; He recognizes the evil spirit, orders him to leave that man, and so expels him.
Francis then says that “here we see the two characteristic elements of Jesus’ action: preaching and the thaumaturgical work of healing”.
“Both aspects stand out in the passage of the evangelist Marcos, but the most prominent is that of preaching; exorcism is presented as a confirmation of Jesus’ unique “authority” and teaching. He preaches with his own authority, like someone who has a doctrine that derives from himself, and not like the scribes who repeated previous traditions and enacted laws. They repeated words, words, just words – as the great Mine sang; they were like that. Only words. Instead of Jesus, the word has authority, Jesus has authority. And it touches the heart ”.
Why? Asks the Pope. Because His word does what He says. Because He is the ultimate prophet. But why do I say this, – Francisco asked – that He is the definitive prophet? Let us remember the promise of Moses: Moses says: “After me, in the future, a prophet like me – like me! – will come who will teach you”. Moses announces Jesus as the definitive prophet.
“Jesus’ teaching has the same authority as God who speaks; in fact, with a single command, he easily frees the possessed from the evil one and heals them. That is why he speaks not with human authority, but with divine authority, because he has the power to be the definitive prophet, that is, the Son of God who saves us, heals us all ”.
The Pontiff then said that the second aspect, that of healing, shows that the preaching of Christ aims to defeat the evil present in man and in the world.
“His word – he said – points directly against Satan’s kingdom, puts him in crisis and makes him retreat, compels him to leave the world. That possessed man, attained by the command of the Lord, is set free and transformed into a new person. Furthermore, Jesus’ preaching belongs to a logic opposite to that of the world and evil: his words reveal themselves as the disturbance of a wrong order of things. The demon present in the possessed man, in fact, cries out when Jesus approaches: “What do you want from us, Jesus Nazarene? You came to destroy us”? These expressions indicate the total strangeness between Jesus and Satan: they are on completely different planes; there is nothing in common between them; they are the opposite of each other ”.
“Jesus speaks with authority, the healing Son of God”. We heard the words of Jesus who has authority, “don’t forget – said the Pope – carry a little Gospel in your pocket, in order to read it during the day, to hear that word with Jesus’ authority”. “We all have problems, let us ask Jesus to heal our sins and our evils.”
The Virgin Mary – concluded the Pope – always kept the words and gestures of Jesus in her heart, and followed him with total availability and fidelity. “May she also help us to hear and follow Him, so that we may experience the signs of His salvation in our lives.”