Here is a ZENIT translation of the address Pope Francis gave today before and after praying the midday Angelus with those gathered in St. Peter’s Square.
* * *
Before the Angelus
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 earthy 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]
After the Angelus
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Yesterday we received the painful news from Afghanistan of the terrible terrorist massacre carried out in the capital, Kabul, with almost one hundred dead and numerous wounded. A few days ago another grave attack, always in Kabul, sowed terror and death in a large hotel. Up to when will the Afghan people have to endure this inhuman violence? Let us pray in silence 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.
Observed today is the World Leprosy Day. Unfortunately, this illness still affects especially the most disadvantaged and poorest people. We assure these brothers and sisters our closeness and solidarity, and we also pray for those who look after them and do their utmost for their reinsertion in society.
I greet the families, the parishes, the Associations and all those that have come from Italy and from so many parts of the world, in particular, the students of Badajoz, Spain, and the faithful of Ljubljana, Slovenia, and those of Venice and Veglie.
I greet very affectionately the boys and girls of Catholic Action of the Diocese of Rome! I hope that even making noise, you are able to do good things, no? Dear youngsters, this year also you many of you have come accompanied by your parents and teachers and assistant priests at the end of the “Caravan of Peace.” I thank you for this initiative. Don’t tire of being instruments of peace and joy among your contemporaries! We now listen to the message of your friends, next to me, who will read it.
[Reading of the Message] [He turns to the two youngsters that read the Message]:
Thank you; thank you. Stay here. Greet, greet, greet without fear!”
And now, together with our prayers for peace, each one of us prays for peace in his heart. Together with these prayers the balloons will go up to Heaven!
Have you seen these balloons? When we pray badly, when we lead a life that isn’t the life that Jesus wants, our prayers don’t reach Heaven and so we need help to make them go up. When you feel that your prayers don’t go up, look for someone’s help.
I wish you all a happy Sunday. Please, don’t forget to pray for me. Have a good lunch and goodbye![Original text: Italian] [ZENIT’s translation by Virginia M. Forrester]