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Pope before Angelus: Jesus Is Our Teacher

‘Powerful in Words and Deeds’

“Jesus is presented as a powerful prophet in words and in deeds,” according to Pope Francis in his commentary on the gospel for January 28, 2018.

His remarks came before the praying of the Sunday Angelus with the crowds in St. Peter’s Square. The Gospel is from Mark 21-28.

“This Sunday’s Gospel is part of the broader narration indicated as the ‘day of Capernaum,’” the Holy Father explained. “At the center of today’s account is the event of an exorcism, through which Jesus is presented as a powerful prophet in words and in deeds.”

The Pope continues with the story, describing how Jesus enters the synagogue of Capernaum and starts teaching – but his words are different than the ones used by the scribes. They have authority.

“The people remain amazed by His words because they aren’t ordinary words; they aren’t like words they hear usually,” Francis said. “Jesus teaches, instead, as one who has authority, thus revealing Himself as One Sent by God, and not as a simple man who must base his teaching on previous tradition.”

But the Holy Father points out that Jesus goes beyond words. He does deeds, in the case of this gospel, removing an unclean spirit from a suffering man.

“And the devil says the truth: Jesus came to destroy the devil, to destroy the devil, to overcome him,” according to the pope. “This unclean spirit knows the power of Jesus and he also proclaims His holiness.”

Pope Francis reminds the crown that Jesus is “our teacher, powerful in words and deeds… A teacher is a friend, who indicates to us the way and takes care of us, especially when we are in need.”

Here is a ZENIT translation of the Pope’s address

Dear Brothers and Sisters, good morning!

This Sunday’s Gospel (Cf. Mark 21-28) is part of the broader narration indicated as the “day of Capernaum.” At the center of today’s account is the event of an exorcism, through which Jesus is presented as a powerful prophet in words and in deeds.

He enters the synagogue of Capernaum on the Sabbath and begins to teach. The people remain amazed by His words because they aren’t ordinary words; they aren’t like words they hear usually. In fact, the scribes teach but without having their own authority. And Jesus teaches with authority. Jesus teaches, instead, as one who has authority, thus revealing Himself as One Sent by God, and not as a simple man who must base his teaching on previous traditions. Jesus has full authority; His doctrine is new and the Gospel says that the people commented:”A new teaching, given with authority” (v. 27).

At the same time, Jesus reveals Himself powerful also in deeds. In the synagogue of Capernaum, there was a man possessed by an unclean spirit, who manifests himself crying out these words: “What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are, the Holy One of God!” (v. 24). And the devil says the truth: Jesus came to destroy the devil, to destroy the devil, to overcome him. This unclean spirit knows the power of Jesus and he also proclaims His holiness. Jesus rebukes him, saying: “Be silent and come out of him!” (v. 25). These few words of Jesus suffice to obtain a victory over Satan, who comes out of that man, convulsing him and crying out in a loud voice” (v. 26). This fact very much impresses those present. They were all prey to fear and questioned among themselves, saying:”What is this? [. . .} “With authority He commands even the unclean spirits, and they obey Him!” (v. 27). Jesus’ power confirms the authoritativeness of His teaching. He doesn’t just pronounce words, but acts. Thus He manifests God’s plan with words and with the power of deeds. In fact, in the Gospel, we see that, in His earthly mission, Jesus reveals the love of God, be it with preaching be it with innumerable gestures of care and help to the sick, the needy, children and sinners.

Jesus is our Teacher, powerful in words and deeds. Jesus communicates to us all the light that illumines the way, sometimes dark, of our existence. He also communicates to us the necessary strength to overcome difficulties, trials, and temptations. We think of what a great grace it is for us to have known this so powerful and so good a God! A teacher is a friend, who indicates to us the way and takes care of us, especially when we are in need.

May the Virgin Mary, woman of listening, help us to be silent around and within ourselves, to hear — in the noise of the messages of the world –, the most authoritative word there is: that of her Son Jesus, who announces the meaning of our existence and frees us from all slavery, including that of the Evil One.

[Original text: Italian]  [ZENIT’s translation by Virginia M. Forrester]

© Libreria Editrice Vatican

 

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