On this Holy Thursday Mass that year after year the Church calls us to this passage inaugural Gospel of Luke: “came to Nazareth where he grew up, and, as usual, went into the synagogue on the Sabbath and stood up to read. was given to him the book of the prophet Isaiah … “, I want to pause a moment to contemplate, along with you, dear brothers in the priesthood, the same scene so well described that scene paints us Jesus in the synagogue of his people, as it were Jesus in the Church of the neighborhood in our parish. We will do well to get into the scene imagining that chapel of Nazareth and also, why not, each imagining Jesus in your parish, in your church.
If we look at what the Lord, the ritual of reading is still present, as in the Mass when one gets up and goes to the altar, will close the book or the guide points out the page. The Lord is lifted up to read, read Isaiah, it returns to the minister and sits. Simple rituals that speak of family tradition of Saturday in the synagogue of the hand of St. Joseph and the Virgin Mary, Jesus makers gestures that refer to parish life. The image of Jesus in the synagogue adult is parallel to the Child Luke Finding in the Temple, which also rise “by custom” (Lk. 2:42). Lucas, as we know, life spins around Lord’s Temple in Jerusalem, from the Annunciation to Zacharias to the final image of forming the new community, after the Ascension, “were continually in the temple blessing God” (Luke 24:53).
This large image of the Lord’s relationship with the Temple has its counterpart in everyday life: those other images: those of small synagogues of peoples: in the synagogue of Capernaum that typical day begins curing the demoniac and then partly Peter’s house-rock of the Church, and they open the door to meet this evening crowd piles to be addressed by Jesus … (Luke 4:40). Emergencies then also, as we say in our jargon, sometimes seized the day. It is in the synagogue where Jesus heals the man with the withered hand, stalked by the Pharisees (Luke 6:6), which receives the centurion’s friends who had built the synagogue to the people (Luke 7:1 ff. ). Leaving the synagogue heals the woman and the daughter of Jairus, the ruler of the synagogue (Luke 8:49 ff.). In the synagogue straightens the bent woman to return and give praise to God with dignity (Luke 13:10 s.).
This is the image that I want to emphasize today: that of Jesus among the faithful people of God, Jesus the priest and good shepherd amid the universal and local Church. Because this is the strength of our priestly identity. The Lord wants to be, through us, his priests, in the midst of his faithful people (of which we are part). Want to make the Eucharist need us to walk in church. Sanctuary Church that is summoning all the faithful people of God and, at the same time, small chapel that is brewing in the life of each community, the Church is holy place among the cities where the Father is calling those who want to worship Him in Spirit and in truth.
We do well to contemplate Jesus surrounded by all the characters we see daily in our temples are always there, in the midst of the community coming together to worship God, neither he that is not entirely healthy in the flesh or in its soul, or the beggar with the withered hand, or the crippled woman, nor the silent hemorroísas who know the Lord to touch the mantle, there are those who may not practice, like the centurion, but help with his charity and good will; no lack of people who come to hear the Word and praying, we admire and praise God, and also attracts those who are scandalized, chimentar those coming to the Pharisees who are always stalking others with their regulations without charity … Also missing from our holy Temples elders like Simeon and Anna, the catechism children who stay after hours … And very often they are going to say the Pharisee and the publican, and every day, if only Jesus sees, some widow check her last two coins in the piggy bank for the poor.
How this Jesus who calls us “as usual” enters the synagogue and read? Is this Jesus who walks with his people in processions and queuing among sinners to baptize John, this Jesus who celebrates Easter and half immersed in the traditions of his people, renewing all from within? People realize that everything is renewed around this contradiction Him So impressive among jubilant praises poison of hatred and blasphemy against someone who just says this scripture is fulfilled today. What tells us, priests, inviting us?
He invites us to be men of the Church, which is the most current translation-and most controversial-the “imitate and follow Christ.” Today, as then, the Lord invites us to be among our faithful, soaked their traditions and customs, and unassuming exterior and illustrated elitism of any kind, and with a heart that burns inside us that the Spirit renew the face of the earth and light the fire that brought the Lord himself.
He invites us to be priests who feel Mother the Church. Priests who remain enamored of the Holy Church and Immaculate true Bride of Christ, and do not miss the hopeful look of first love. Priests able to see and feel the Catholic Church as one and the same, both in big celebrations like in secret of the confessional. Priests with an open heart as the Church to welcome all, especially with all the tenderness and possible those society excludes and forget, confirming them in their dignity as beloved children of the Father. Corrected first priests to the Church themselves, asking for forgiveness of their sins and feeding on the Eucharist and the Word, and only then, as the Gospel says fraternally, dare to correct something in the other, without ever throwing “pearls the pigs “that leverage our indiscreet handling disagreements wound or to hurt and make fun of our Mother the Church. Priests who convene creative and tirelessly to whom the Father draws and about his Son. Priests who go out to look for those who loves Jesus to bring them into the fold. Priests carrying the world the Spirit who sanctifies and makes Church, and not allow their lives to be installed in spiritual worldliness.
I end with a fact that is a little later in this passage. It is noteworthy that the passing of praise to hatred to the point of wanting to hurl the Lord, start wondering: “Is not this Joseph’s son?” The custom of knowing Jesus and her family left the God made flesh. And, instead, to Jesus, the customs of his people away and not the Father or his brothers … quite the opposite.
Today I want to ask the Virgin and St. Joseph, to instill in them that Jesus knew this love of former Assembly of Israel and their customs, our love for the Church in all her children and in all things, has this air of family . Our Lady specifically asked, we priests, to see his face and think of her mother’s heart when we speak of the Church and when we look at the smallest of their children to feel that what we say about the Church say it; that what the Lord wants to do in us, Church, are the same wonders that made it. We ask for the grace that makes you feel our priesthood faithful people of God, the Church, and to love him just the same as he feels loved by Mary.
Buenos Aires, April 12, 2001
Jorge Mario Bergoglio, SJ