14/01/2020

Pope: Authority is not command but coherence

How much harm do "incoherent" Christians and "schizophrenic" pastors who do not bear witness, thus departing from the Lord's style, from his authentic "authority"

Pope: Authority is not command but coherence

Pope Francis' homily at Casa Santa Marta was a commentary on the Gospel proposed by the liturgy of the day.

Jesus taught as one who has authority ". The Gospel of Mark (Mc 1,21-28) narrates Jesus who teaches in the temple and the reaction that arouses among people his way of acting with "authority", unlike the scribes. It is from this comparison that the Pope was inspired to explain the difference that exists between "having authority", "inner authority", like Jesus, and "exercising authority without having it, like the scribes". These, even though they were experts in teaching the law and heard by the people, were not credible.

The style of Jesus

What authority does Jesus have? It is the style of the Lord, that 'lordship' - so to speak - with which the Lord moved, taught, healed, listened. This landlord style - which is something that comes from within - shows ... What does it show? Coherence. Jesus had authority because he was consistent with what he taught and what he did, that is, how he lived. That consistency is what gives the expression of a person who has authority: “This person has authority because he is consistent”, that is, he gives testimony. Authority shows itself in this: consistency and testimony.

Scribes, schizophrenic pastors who do not say and do not

On the contrary, the scribes were not coherent and Jesus, said the Pope, on the one hand warns the people to "do what they say, but not what they did"; on the other hand, he does not miss the opportunity to rebuke them, because "with this attitude they fell into pastoral schizophrenia", according to Francis: they said one thing and did another. And the Pope recalled that this happens in several episodes of the Gospel: sometimes, Jesus reacts by putting them aside, sometimes giving them no answer and, further, "qualifying them":

And the word that Jesus uses to describe this inconsistency, this schizophrenia, is "hypocrisy". It's a third of qualifiers! Let's take Matthew chapter 23; often says: "hypocrites for that, hypocrites ...". Jesus calls them "hypocrites". Hypocrisy is the way of those who have responsibility for people - in this case, pastoral responsibility - but they are not consistent, they are not masters, they have no authority. And God's people are meek and tolerant; tolerates many hypocritical pastors, many schizophrenic pastors who say and do not, without coherence.

Christian inconsistency is a scandal

But the people of God who tolerate so much - added Francis - know how to distinguish strength from grace. And the Pope explained with reference to today's First Reading, in which the elderly Eli "had lost all authority and had only been left with the grace of the anointing" and, with that grace he blessed and performed a miracle in Ana, who in turn begged to be a mother. This episode served Francis to make a point about Christians and pastors:

God's people distinguish well between a person's authority and the grace of anointing. “But are you going to confess to that person, what is this, this and this?” - “But for me he is God. Score. He is Jesus ”. And this is the wisdom of our people, who tolerate so many times, so many incoherent pastors, pastors like the scribes, and also Christians who go to Mass every Sunday and then live as pagans. And people say, "This is a scandal, an inconsistency." How much harm do incoherent Christians who do not testify and incoherent pastors, schizophrenic, who do not testify!

The Pope concluded the homily by asking the Lord so that all the baptized have "authority", "which does not consist in commanding and appearing, but in being consistent, being a witness and, therefore, being a road companion on the Lord's path".

Source: Vatican News

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