Friday, February 19, 2016

Pope Francis in Persona Christi

I have given much thought to things said by Our Holy Father, Pope Francis these last 3 years, and things purported to have been said by him.  There is actually little difference between what people think they heard him say and how they report it.  There is however a great difference often times between that and what he actually said.

In light of the comments he made on the flight from Mexico recently, this came home for me this morning as my wife and I prayed the Sorrowful Mysteries in the Scriptural Rosary.

Francis speaks in nuanced language, much like Jesus did in say, Mark Chapter 14, which is meditated on in the second mystery, The Scourging at the Pillar:
60 The high priest rose before the assembly and questioned Jesus, saying, “Have you no answer? What are these men testifying against you?”
61 But he was silent and answered nothing. Again the high priest asked him and said to him, “Are you the Messiah, the son of the Blessed One?”
62 Then Jesus answered, “I am; and ‘you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of the Power and coming with the clouds of heaven.’”
63 At that the high priest tore his garments and said, “What further need have we of witnesses?
64 You have heard the blasphemy. What do you think?” They all condemned him as deserving to die.
After I had read verse 62 above for the 4th Hail Mary, my dear wife stopped me and asked me a question.  Her question was "What would you think if somebody walked up to you on the street and made the statement Jesus made?"  It is a good question, and my response to her, less in answer but as a clarification, was that these were the same people who had known that He preached in their synagogues, performed miracles, and walked and lived among them for 3 years.  Though that might have made it easier for them to anticipate His answer, it did not make the truth of the answer any easier to absorb and believe.

Before the verses above people came forward to testify against Him, and lied through their teeth. But, when the high priest, Annas asked Jesus if He was the Messiah, he was not prepared for Jesus' answer.  It did not line up with what he believed about the coming Messiah, and so he considered it blasphemy.  It also did not line up with the fear that they all lived in of disturbing the status quo with their Roman conquerors.

Annas and the Sanhedrin were intent on being right, and protecting themselves, and so they let the truth slip right by them, with nary a nod of the head to it.

The correct answer for the high priest to the question: "Are you the Messiah, the Son of the Blessed One?" would have been: "No, not me, everybody knows I am just the son of the carpenter." And, of course, for levity, he could have followed that up with: "Can anything good come out of Nazareth?" (John 1:46)

It appears that Annas was flabbergasted because he tore his robes when Jesus said "I am." 

Pope Francis has been anointed by God to be the leader of the Holy Roman Catholic Church, to act in persona christi as earthly shepherd of the flock. John Chapter 15 warns us about what will happen to those anointed by God and acting on His behalf:
So, whether Jesus responds "I am" to a question, or Francis says: "…if he wants to address illegal immigration only by building a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border" the answer is not the answer the survey says was the (politically) correct answer.  Interestingly enough since we are all family, this is a form of Family Feud, but not the oft watched television show by that name.

Remember Matthew Chapter 10, where Jesus is preparing the twelve for ministry:
34 “Do not think that I have come to bring peace upon the earth. I have come to bring not peace but the sword.
35 For I have come to set a man ‘against his father, a daughter against her mother,
and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law;
36 and one’s enemies will be those of his household.’

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