Authority, if true, will enter hearts, like Jesus’ did. But if it’s just formal, it won’t ….
According to Vatican Radio, Pope Francis stressed this to faithful during his daily morning Mass at Casa Santa Marta, as he shared the three characteristics of Jesus’ ‘real’ authority, as opposed to that which was just formal, that of the Pharisees.
Recalling that today’s Gospel speaks of the amazement of the people because Jesus taught “as one who has authority” and not like the scribes, whose teachings never entered the people’s hearts. He was not a “seducer,” He taught the Law “down to the last point,” He taught the Truth, but with authority.
Being at Service of Others
Noting the first characteristic was ‘serving people,’ Francis stressed how Jesus always served others, and took on the attitude of servant, which gave him authority.
On the other hand, the Pope explained, these doctors of the law that the people, even if they listened to and respected, didn’t really feel they had authority over them.
“These,” Francis said, “had a psychology of princes: ‘We are the masters, the princes, and we teach you. Not service: we command, you obey.’ And Jesus never passed Himself off like a prince: He was always the servant of all, and this is what gave Him authority.'”
Closeness to the people
The second characteristic that confers authority, Francis stressed, is being close to the people, one which Jesus demonstrated, and the Pharisees did not.
“Jesus did not have an allergy to the people: touching the lepers, the sick, didn’t make Him shudder,” Pope Francis explained, noting how on the other hand, the Pharisees despised “the poor people, the ignorant,” they liked to walk about the piazzas, in nice clothing.”
“They were detached from the people, they were not close [to them]; Jesus was very close to the people, and this gave authority. Those detached people, these doctors, had a clericalist psychology: they taught with a clericalist authority – that’s clericalism.”
The Pontiff also expressed how he enjoys reading about the closeness to the people the Blessed Paul VI had. In number 48 of Evangelii nuntiandi, Francis noted, “one sees the heart of a pastor who is close [to the people].”
The third point that distinguishes the authority of the scribes from that of Jesus, Francis stressed, is ‘coherence.’
Jesus “lived what He preached,” the Pope highlighted, while criticizing the ‘princes’ who possessed ‘clericalist attitudes.’ The Pope, in order to make this better understood, recalled the parable of the Good Samaritan, and reiterated the servant, close, and coherent real authority of our Lord.