Full text of the Pope’s remarks at the Angelus for Sunday, 28 January 2018:
Reflection on the Gospel
Dear brothers and sisters, good day!
The Gospel of this Sunday is part of the larger story described as the “day in Capharnaum.” At the center of the story of that day is the event of the exorcism, through which Jesus is presented as “a prophet powerful in word and in deed.”
He enters into the synagogue at Capharnaum on the Sabbath, and begins to teach; the people are amazed by His words, because they are not ordinary words, they do not resemble those they usually hear. The scribes, in fact, do teach, but without having their own authority; it is based on tradition, on what Moses and the prophets said before them. Jesus, on the other hand, teaches as one having authority, revealing Himself as the One “sent by God,” and not like a simple man who has to base his own teaching on previous tradition. Jesus has a fullness of authority. His doctrine is new: “A new teaching, given with authority,” as Mark, the evangelist, says.
At the same time, Jesus is revealed to be powerful also in deeds. In the synagogue of Capharnaum there is a man possessed by an unclean spirit, who is manifested when he cries out: “What do you want from us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are—the Holy One of God!” This unclean spirit recognizes the power of Jesus, and also proclaims His sanctity. Jesus scolds him, saying to him, “Be silent! Come out of him!” These few words of Jesus are enough to obtain the victory over Satan, who goes out from the man “convulsing him and crying out loudly.”
This event makes an impression on many of those present; all were amazed, and asked themselves, “What is this? […] He commands even the unclean spirits and they obey Him.” the power of Jesus confirms the authority of His teaching. He does not simply pronounce the words, He acts. In this way He makes manifest the project of God with words and with the power of works. In the Gospel, in fact, we see that Jesus, in His earthly mission, reveals the love of God both with His preaching and with innumerable acts of caring and relief of the sick, the needy, children, and sinners.
Today’s Gospel passage shows us that Jesus is our Teacher, powerful in word and works. Jesus communicates to us all the light that illumines the path, at times dark, of our existence; He communicates to us also the strength necessary to overcome difficulties, trials, temptations. Let us consider what a great grace it is for us to have recognized this God Who is so powerful and so good! A teacher and a friend, who shows us the path and cares for us, especially when we are in need.
After the Angelus
Dear brothers and sisters,
Yesterday, the sorrowful news reached us from Afghanistan of the terrible terrorist attack in the capital Kabul, with almost one hundred dead and many people wounded. A few days ago there was another serious attack, also in Kabul that sowed terror and death in a great hotel. How long will the Afghan people have to endure this inhuman violence? Let us pray for all the victims and for their families; and let us pray for all those, in that country, who continue to work to build peace.
Today we commemorate the World Leprosy Day. This illness unfortunately strikes especially the poorest and most disadvantaged. We assure these brothers and sisters of our closeness and solidarity; and we pray also for those who assist them and who work to help them re-enter society.
I greet the families, the parishes, the associations and all those who have come here from Italy and from all parts of the world: in particular, the students of Badajoz, Spain, the faithful of Ljubljana, Slovenia, and from Venice and Veglie.
With great affection I greet the young men and women of Catholic Action of the Diocese of Rome! Dear young people, once again this year – accompanied by the Vicar Archbishop, your parents and teachers, and priest assistants – you have come in great numbers to the end of the “Caravan of Peace.” I thank you for this initiative. Do not tire in being instruments of peace and of joy among your peers! Let us listen now to the message that your friends, who are here beside me, will read for us.
[Reading of the message.]
And now, together in our prayers for peace, the balloons rise to the sky.
[Balloons are released.]
I wish all of you a happy Sunday. Please do not forget to pray for me. Have a good lunch [buon pranzo], and arrivederci!