VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Jesus astonished people with the way he taught and interacted with others because he wasn’t aloof, domineering or hypocritical, Pope Francis said in a homily.
“Jesus wasn’t allergic to people. Touching lepers, the sick did not disgust him,” whereas the Pharisees — who strolled around in fine clothes — looked down on the people and considered them ignorant, he said at the Mass Jan. 10 in the chapel of his residence.
“They were removed from the people, they weren’t close,” the pope said of the Pharisees. “Jesus was very close to the people and this gave him authority.”
The pope’s homily centered on the day’s Gospel reading (Mk 1:21-28) in which people gathered at the synagogue in Capernaum “were astonished” at Jesus’ teaching because he displayed an authority that differed so greatly from that of the scribes.
The people would listen to and be respectful toward the doctors of the law and the scribes, but the people didn’t take what they said “to heart,” he said.
These teachers felt themselves superior, as if to say: “We are the teachers, the princes and we teach you. No service. We command, you obey,” the pope said. But Jesus “never passed himself off as a prince. He was always the servant of everyone and this is what gave him authority.”
The traditional teachers were hypocrites, declaring the truth, but not doing what they preached, Pope Francis said.
Jesus “lived what he preached,” he said, representing the harmonious union of “what he thought, felt and did.”
“Jesus, who is humble, who is at the service (of others), who is near, who doesn’t despise people and who is consistent, has authority,” the pope said. “This is the authority that the people of God sense.”
Help keep Catholic media free, support CatholicPhilly.com
You may have noticed “pay walls” greeting you when you visit the websites of newspapers and magazines, both large and small. These mechanisms allow you to read a few articles for free before you’ve got to pay an annual fee if you want to see more.
You won’t find a pay wall on CatholicPhilly.com because we’re more than a news organization. We’re informing, inspiring and forming readers in the Catholic faith every day through the news, features and commentaries that we post on this site and share across social media.
It costs money to provide high-quality coverage of the local Catholic communities we primarily serve, while also distributing national and world news of interest to Catholics, plus the orthodox teachings of the Catholic faith.
Help us in this mission by making a single gift of $40, $50, $100, or more. Your gift will strengthen the fabric of our entire Catholic community.
Make your donation by check:
222 N. 17th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103
Or by credit card here: