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Pope at Santa Marta: Faced With Scandal & Division, Silence and Prayer

Resuming Morning Masses at Santa Marta, Pope Says to Imitate Jesus Whose Dignity Shined Through His Silence

Best reaction to scandal and division? Silence and prayer…

According to Vatican News, during Pope Francis’ first morning Mass at Casa Santa Marta since his summer break, the Pope reflected on the day’s Gospel reading from St. Luke (4:16-30), noting, “the truth is humble, the truth is silent.”

The Gospel tells of when returning to Nazareth, Jesus meets opposition in the synagogue after commenting on a passage from the prophet Isaiah. The Holy Father pointed out Jesus’ silent composure not only in this episode, but also during the Passion.

No prophet, the Pope highlighted, is accepted.

Jesus aroused curiosity at the synagogue. The people had heard of his miracles, and they wanted to see him, but rather than “satisfy their curiosity,” Jesus, the Pope said, uses only “the Word of God”.

When Jesus was confronting the devil, Francis noted, Jesus adopted this attitude. “Jesus’ humility,” he said, “opens the door to his first words meant to construct a bridge but instead sows doubt immediately changing the atmosphere from peace to war, from amazement to fury.”

To those “who wanted to throw him out of the city,” Jesus responds with silence, 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.’”

Jesus’ dignity, Francis continued, shines through this “silence that triumphs over” his attackers. On Good Friday, the Pope observed, the same thing would happen again.

“The people who were saying ‘crucify him’ had praised Jesus on Palm Sunday saying, ‘Blessed are You, Son of David’. They had changed.”

Reflecting on our dignity, 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.”

About Deborah Castellano Lubov

Deborah Castellano Lubov is a Vatican & Rome Correspondent for ZENIT; author of 'The Other Francis' ('L'Altro Francesco') featuring interviews with those closest to the Pope and preface by Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Parolin (currently published in four languages). She often covers the Pope's travels abroad, at times from the papal flight, and has done television and radio commentary, including for Vatican Radio and BBC. She is a contributor to National Catholic Register, UK Catholic Herald, Our Sunday Visitor, Inside the Vatican, and other Catholic news outlets. She has also collaborated with the Vatican in various projects, including an internship at the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, and is a collaborator with NBC Universal, NBC News, Euronews, EWTN and Salt & Light. For 'The Other Francis': https://www.amazon.com/Other-Francis-Everything-They-about/dp/0852449348/

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