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Angelus Address: Jesus Addresses the Misunderstandings of the Scribes and of His Relatives (Full Text)

‘To Receive the Word of Jesus Renders Us Jesus’ Family; To Bad-Mouth Others Makes Us the Devil’s Family’

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Here is a ZENIT translation of the address Pope Francis gave June 10, 2018, before and after praying the midday Angelus with those gathered in St. Peter’s Square.
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Before the Angelus:
 Dear Brothers and Sisters, good morning!
This Sunday’s Gospel (Cf. Mark 3:20-35) shows us two sorts of misunderstandings that Jesus had to address: that of the scribes and that of His own relatives. The first misunderstanding: the scribes were men instructed in the Holy Scriptures and in charge of explaining it to the people. Some of them were sent from Jerusalem to Galilee, where Jesus’ fame was beginning to spread, to discredit Him in the eyes of the people, to engage in the office of gossipers, discredit the other, take away His authority — such an awful thing. And they were sent to do this. And these scribes arrived with a specific and terrible accusation – they spare no means, go to the center and say thus: “He is possessed by Beelzebul, and by the prince of demons He casts out the demons” (v. 22). That is, the head of the demons is the one that drives Him, which is as though saying, more or less, “He is possessed.” In fact, Jesus was healing many sick people, and the scribes wanted to make them believe that He did so, not with the Spirit of God — as Jesus did –,  but with that of the Evil One, with the strength of the devil.
Jesus reacts with strong and clear words; He doesn’t tolerate this, because those scribes, perhaps without realizing it, were falling into the gravest sin: to deny and blaspheme the Love of God, which is present and works in Jesus. And blasphemy, the sin against the Holy Spirit, is the only unforgivable sin — so says Jesus –, because it stems from the closure of the heart to God’s mercy, which acts in Jesus.
However, this episode contains an admonition that is useful for all of us. In fact, it can happen that intense envy of the goodness and good works of a person can push one to accuse them falsely. There is a mortal poison here: the malice with which, in a premeditated way, one wishes to destroy another’s good reputation. May God free us from this terrible temptation! And if on examining our conscience, we realize that this evil weed is germinating within us, we must go immediately to confess it in the Sacrament of Penance, before it develops and produces its evil effects, which are incurable. Pay attention, because this attitude destroys families, friendships, communities and even society.
Today’s Gospel speaks to us also of another misunderstanding, very different, in Jesus’ relations: that of His relatives. They were concerned because His new itinerant life seemed madness to them (Cf. v. 21). In fact, He showed Himself so available to people, especially the sick and sinners, to the point of not even having time to eat. Jesus was like that: first the people, serve the people, help the people, teach the people and cure the people. He was for the people; He didn’t even have time to eat. Therefore, His relatives decide to take Him back home to Nazareth. They arrive in the place where Jesus is preaching and they sent to Him and called Him. They say to Him: “Behold, your mother and your brothers and sisters are outside, asking for you” (v. 32). He replies: “Who are my mother and my brethren?” And looking around the persons who sat about Him to listen to Him, He adds: “Here are my mother and my brethren! Whoever does the will of God is my brother, and sister and mother” (vv. 33-34). Jesus has formed a new family, no longer based on natural ties but on faith in Him, on His love that receives us and unites us in the Holy Spirit. All those that receive the word of Jesus are children of God and brothers among themselves. To receive the word of Jesus makes us brothers among ourselves and renders us Jesus’ family.
To bad-mouth others, to destroy the reputation of others, makes us the devil’s family. That answer of Jesus isn’t a lack of respect for his mother and relatives. Rather, for Mary, it’s the greatest recognition because she is, in fact, the perfect disciple who obeyed God’s will in everything. May the Virgin Mary help us to live always in communion with Jesus, recognizing the work of the Holy Spirit, who acts in Him and in the Church, regenerating the world to a new life.
[Original text: Italian]  [ZENIT’s translation by Virginia M. Forrester]
 © Libreria Editrice Vatican
After the Angelus:
 Dear Brothers and Sisters,
In friendship and in prayer, I wish again to have a particular thought reach the beloved Korean people. May the talks that will take place in the coming days at Singapore be able to contribute to the development of a positive course, which ensures a future of peace for the Korean Peninsula and for the whole world. We pray to the Lord for this. We pray all together to Our Lady, Queen of Korea, to accompany these talks.
[Hail Mary . . .”] Proclaimed Blessed today at Agen, in France, is Sister Mary of the Conception, born Adelaide de Batz de Trenquelleon. Living between the 18th and 19th centuries, she founded the Daughters of Mary Immaculate, called Marianists. We praise the Lord for this daughter of His, who consecrated her life to Him and to the service of brethren. A round of applause to the new Blessed; all applaud.
I greet you all, dear Romans and pilgrims: the parish groups, the families, and the Associations. In particular, I greet the faithful from Spain: from Murcia, Pamplona, and Logrono, and, from Italy, those from Naples, the young people from Mestrino and the Alpine Sports Group from Legnago.
I wish you a happy Sunday. And, please, don’t forget to pray for me.
Have a good lunch and goodbye!
[Original text: Italian]  [ZENIT’s translation by Virginia M. Forrester]
 © Libreria Editrice Vatican

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Virginia Forrester

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