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Monday, July 9, 2012

MIRACLES ARE NOT A SHOW OF POWER BUT SIGNS OF GOD'S LOVE


Vatican City, 8 July 2012 (VIS) - At midday today, his first Sunday at Castelgandolfo, the Pope emerged onto the balcony overlooking the inner courtyard of the Apostolic Palace to pray the Angelus with faithful gathered below. He remarked on today's reading from St. Mark's Gospel concerning the refusal of the people of Nazareth to recognise the divinity of Jesus, and the scandal provoked by the fact that "the carpenter, the son of Mary" who had lived among them, should preach like a prophet.

In this context, the Holy Father mentioned the phrase "Nemo propheta in patria", meaning no one is a prophet in his own land. This, he said, "is understandable because their human familiarity made it hard for them to go further and open themselves to the divine dimension. It was difficult for them to believe that this son of a carpenter was the Son of God", while Jesus Himself drew on the example of the prophets of Israel who were likewise disdained. Because of this spiritual closure in Nazareth, "Jesus 'could do no deeds of power there, except that he laid his hands on a few sick people and cured them'. Indeed, the miracles of Christ were not a show of power, but signs of God's love, which is realised wherever it finds reciprocity in the faith of man".

"The astonishment and scandal of His fellow citizens was met with amazement on the part of Jesus. In a certain sense, He too was scandalised. Although He knew that no prophet is accepted in his own land, yet His own people's closure of heart was something obscure and impenetrable to Him. How was it possible that they did not recognise the light of Truth? Why did they not open to the goodness of God Who chose to share our humanity?. The man Jesus of Nazareth is the transparency of God, God dwells in Him fully and, while we always seek other signs, other prodigies, we do not realise that the true sign is Him, God made flesh. He is the greatest miracle of the universe: all the love of God contained in a human heart and a human face".

After praying the Angelus the Pope greeted French-speaking pilgrims saying: "During the summer do not take a vacation from God; pray and go to Sunday Mass".

He then addressed some words to Polish faithful, particularly participants in a pilgrimage organised by the Family of Radio Maria to the shrine of Jasna Gora where they are praying "for the homeland, families and freedom of expression". He also greeted members of the "Work of the New Millennium" Association who are meeting in Lublin with followers of other religions and who this evening will gather to pray for peace in the former concentration camp of Majdanek. "I participate spiritually in these initiatives", the Pope said, "and implore goodness and peace for the world, for Poland and for each one of you".

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