07/08/2012, 00.00
VATICAN

Pope: familiarity on human level impedes our ability to go beyond and open up to divine dimension

Angelus, Benedict XVI illustrates the story of the Gospel from which comes the "Nemo propheta in patria ". The cold welcome Jesus receives on his return to Nazareth. "The miracles of Christ are not a display of power, but signs of love of God, which takes place where faith meets the man." During the summer, "do not put God on vacation."

Castel Gandolfo (AsiaNews) - "Familiarity on a human level makes it difficult to go beyond and open up to the divine dimension": as is shown by what happened when Jesus returned to Nazareth and people who had known him for almost 30 years "were shocked" seeing him teach in the synagogue. The episode of today's Gospel from which the saying " Nemo propheta in patria ", ie, no prophet is welcome among his people, was derived has was the focus of Benedict XVI's reflections today before the Angelus.

Looking out the window of the Apostolic Palace of Castel Gandolfo, where he is in residence since Tuesday afternoon, the Pope also asked faithful not to send "God on vacation." Benedict XVI, addressing the inhabitants of the Alban hamlet which hosts him he wished "all families a period of physical and spiritual rest and recharge" then turning to the French speaking pilgrims, after the recitation of the Angelus, warned them not to put "God on hold during the summer vacation: remember to pray - he added - and go to Sunday Mass ".

Earlier, commenting on today's Gospel, the Pope reminded the three thousand people present in the courtyard of the return of Jesus to Nazareth: "His fellow citizens" astonished "by his wisdom and, knowing him as the" son of Mary " , the "carpenter" who had lived in their midst, instead of welcoming him with faith, were offended by him (cf. Mk 6.2 to 3). This fact is understandable, because familiarity in human terms makes it difficult to go beyond and be open to divine dimension. Jesus himself uses the example of the prophets of Israel, who had been the object of contempt in their own home, and identifies with them. Due to this spiritual closure, Jesus of Nazareth could able to perform any "mighty deed" there , but only laid his hands upon a few sick people and healed them "(Mk 6.5). In fact, the miracles of Christ are not a display of power, but signs of love of God, which takes place where it meets men of faith".

"So, it seems that Jesus accepts - as they say - the hostile reception he receives in Nazareth. Instead, at the end of the story, we find an observation that says just the opposite. The Evangelist writes that Jesus" was amazed at their lack of faith"(MC6, 6). Added to the amazement of his fellow citizens, who are scandalized, is that of Jesus.  He also, in a sense, is scandalized! Despite knowing that no prophet is accepted in his homeland, the closure of heart of his people for him remains obscure, arcane, how can they not recognize the light of Truth? Why are they not open to the goodness of God, who wanted to share our humanity? In fact, the man Jesus of Nazareth is the transparency of God, God lives in him fully. And while we always try other signs, other wonders, we do not realize that the real sign is He, God made flesh, He is the greatest miracle of the universe: all the love God hidden in a human heart in a man's face. "

In a greeting addressed to the Poles, finally, the pope recalled "the young scholars of the Opera Foundation of the New Millennium meeting in Lublin: together with believers of different religions, at the former concentration camp at Majdanek, tonight they will raise prayers for peace. I am spiritually with them - he concluded - at these events; I implore goodness and peace for the world, for Poland and for each one of you. "

 

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