By Sr Bernadette Mary Reis, fsp
Pope Francis focused his homily on Monday at Casa Santa Marta on the Gospel of the day from Luke (4:16-30) when Jesus returns to Nazareth and meets opposition in the synagogue after commenting on a passage from the prophet Isaiah. The Pope highlights Jesus’ silent composure not only in this scene but also during the passion.
No prophet is accepted….
The Pope said that when Jesus arrived at the synagogue, he aroused curiosity. Everyone wanted to see the person they had heard was working miracles in other places. Instead of satisfying their curiosity, the Pope said, the Son of the Heavenly Father uses only “the Word of God”. This is the attitude Jesus adopted when confronting the devil. The Pope then said that Jesus’ humility opens the door to his first words meant to construct a bridge but instead sow doubt immediately changing the atmosphere “from peace to war”, from “amazement to fury”.
Jesus responds with silence before those “who wanted to throw him out of the city”, the Pope said.
They were not thinking, they were shouting. Jesus stayed silent… The Gospel passage ends with: ‘But he passed through the midst of them and went away’.
Pope Francis said that Jesus’ dignity shines through this “silence that triumphs over” his attackers. The same thing would happen again on Good Friday, the Pope said.
The people who were saying ‘crucify him’ had praised Jesus on Palm Sunday saying, ‘Blessed are You, Son of David’. They had changed.
The Pope continued saying the truth is humble and silent and is not noisy, acknowledging that what Jesus did is not easy. However, “the dignity of the Christian is anchored in the power of God”. Even in a family, he said, there are times when division occurs because of “discussions on politics, sports, money”. Pope Francis recommends silence and prayer in these cases:
With people lacking good will, with people who only seek scandal, who seek only division, who seek only destruction, even within the family: silence, prayer.
Pope Francis concluded praying,
May the Lord give us the grace to discern when we should speak and when we should stay silent. This applies to every part of life: to work, at home, in society…. Thus we will be closer imitators of Jesus.