At the Angelus in St Peter’s Square on Sunday, Pope Francis reflected on the Gospel for the fourth Sunday of Ordinary Time.
A prophet powerful in word and deed
The Holy Father set the day’s Gospel within “the larger story described as the ‘day in Capharnaum’.” When Jesus exorcises a demon from a man, He “is presented as ‘a prophet powerful in word and in deed’.” Those who witnessed the exorcism, the Pope said, “are amazed by His words, because they are not ordinary words, they do not resemble what they were used to hearing.” He explained that this was because “Jesus has a fullness of authority. His doctrine is new: ‘A new teaching, given with authority,’ as Mark the Evangelist says.”
Pope Francis said Christ’s authority consisted not only in His words, but also in His deeds. The few words that Jesus addressed to the man possessed by the demon were enough “to obtain the victory over Satan…. The power of Jesus confirms the authority of His teaching. He does not simply pronounce the words, He acts. In this way He makes manifest the project of God with words and with the power of works.” In this way the Pope said, Jesus “reveals the love of God both with His preaching and with innumerable acts of caring and relief of the sick, the needy, children, and sinners.”
Message of the Gospel for today
At the conclusion of his reflection on the Gospel, Pope Francis connected it to our own contemporary lives. “Jesus is our Teacher, powerful in words and works. Jesus communicates to us all the light that illumines the path, at times dark, of our existence. He communicates to us also the strength necessary to overcome difficulties, trials, temptations. Let us consider what a great grace it is for us to have recognized this God Who is so powerful and so good!” He then concluded with a prayer to Mary, “the woman of listening,” that she might “help us to achieve silence within and around us, in order to hear, amid the racket 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 every form of slavery, even from the Evil One.”