Jesus had authority with the people because “he spent most of his time on the road… touching, embracing, listening and looking at the people in the eye…He was near them”, Pope Francis reflected September 18, 2018, during his homily at morning Mass at Casa Santa Marta in the Vatican. The homily was reported by Vatican News.
Jesus “thought with his heart”, the Holy Father said. “This is the icon of the pastor”, who “needs to have the power and authority that Jesus had, that humility, that meekness, that nearness, the capacity to be compassionate and tender”.
The Pope encouraged pastors to be close to the people, recounting that Jesus was. He spoke of the remarkable gospel for the day (Luke 7:11-17) in which Jesus is among the people of Nain, takes pity on a woman whose son has died – and raise him back to life.
When the Lord saw her,
he was moved with pity for her and said to her,
“Do not weep.”
He stepped forward and touched the coffin;
at this the bearers halted,
and he said, “Young man, I tell you, arise!”
The dead man sat up and began to speak,
and Jesus gave him to his mother.
What distinguished Jesus’ teaching was not just what he taught, but how he taught it, Francis pointed out. He “was meek, and did not cry out. He did not punish the people…In the Gospel, when Jesus was not with people, he was with the Father praying”.
The Pope also recalled that in his final house, as the people called for Christ’s crucifixion, He remained compassionate. His response was silence and prayer. Here the shepherd chooses silence when the “Great Accuser” accuses him “through so many people”. Jesus “suffers, offers his life, and prays”, Pope Francis said.