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Pope Francis The Simplicity of God 16.03.20


Pope Francis: Talks about the Simplicity of God 16.03.20


Pope Francis   16.03.20 Holy Mass Santa Marta       2 Kings 5: 1-15,      Luke 4: 24-30
Monday of the Third Week of Lent - Lectionary Cycle II 
Pope Francis Talks about Disdain and the Simplicity of God 16.03.2016

In both texts that the Liturgy proposes for our meditation today there is an attitude that attracts attention, a human behaviour, but not good spirit: indignation. The people of Nazareth began to listen to Jesus, and they liked how He spoke, but then someone said: "But in which university did you study? This is the son of Mary and Joseph, this was the carpenter! What can He come to tell us?" And the people became disdained. They become indignant (cf. Luke 4:28). And this outrage leads them to violence. And so Jesus who they admired at the beginning of His preaching is driven out, to throw Him down the cliff (cf. v. 29).

Even Naamàn, a good man, and Naamàn was also open to faith, but when the prophet sends someone to him to say that he bathes seven times in the Jordan he becomes indignant. But why? "Here, I thought, of course he will come out and stand there, and he will invoke the name of the Lord his God, he will wave his hand over the sick part and he will take away my leprosy. Surely the Abanà and Parpar, rivers of Damascus, are better than any of the waters of Israel? Couldn't I bathe there and cleanse myself? He turned and left angry." With disdain.

Even in Nazareth there were good people; but what is behind these good people that leads them to this indignant behaviour? And in Nazareth it was worse: because of the violence. Both the people of the synagogue of Nazareth and Naamàn thought that God manifested himself only in the extraordinary, in things out of the ordinary; that God could not act in the common things of life, in simplicity. They disdained the simple. They were indignant, they despised simple things. And our God makes us understand that He always acts in simplicity: in simplicity, in the house of Nazareth, in the simplicity of everyday work, in the simplicity of prayer... The simple things. Instead, the worldly spirit leads us towards vanity, towards appearances...

And both end in violence: Naamàn was very educated, but he slams the door in the prophet's face and leaves. Violence, an act of violence. The people of the synagogue begin to get angry, to get heated, and they make the decision to kill Jesus, but unconsciously, and they kick Him out to throw him down. Indignation is an ugly temptation that leads to violence.

They showed me, a few days ago, on a mobile phone, a video of the door of a building that was quarantined. There was one person, a young gentleman, who wanted to go out. And the policeman told him he couldn't. And he punched him, with disdain, with contempt. "But who are you, 'negro', to prevent me from leaving?" It is the indignation of the proud, of the proud ... but with a poverty of spirit that is really awful, of the proud who live only with the illusion of being more than they are. It is a spiritual "illness", people who are indignant: indeed, many times these people need to be indignant, to be indignant to feel like they are someone.

This too can happen to us: "the Pharisaical scandal", the theologians call it, or the scandal of the Pharasees , that is, to scandalize those things such as the simplicity of God, the simplicity of the poor, the simplicity of Christians, as if to say: "But this is not God. No, no. Our God is more cultured, he is wiser, he is more important. God cannot act in this simplicity." And always indignation leads you to violence; both physical violence and verbal violence, which always kills like physical violence.

Let us think of these two passages: the indignation of the people in the synagogue of Nazareth and the indignation of Naamàn, because they did not understand the simplicity of our God.