Vatican (news.va): Speaking from his summer residence at Castel Gandolfo, PopeBenedict XVI spoke about Sunday’s Gospel, which tells how Jesus, when He hadreturned to His hometown of Nazareth,was rejected by His own people. “This fact is understandable,” the Pope said,“because familiarity at the human level makes it difficult to go beyond thatand to be open to the divine dimension.”
Jesus was not able to work any miracles inNazareth – “apart from curing a few sick people by laying His hands on them” –because the people were closed off to the spiritual dimension. The Holy Fatherexplained “the miracles of Christ are not a display of power, but signs of thelove of God, which is made present where it encounters the faith of man.”
And so, the Pope says, Jesus is “amazed” at thelack of faith among his own people: “How is it possible that they do notrecognise the light of Truth? Why are they not open to the goodness of God, whohas willed to share our humanity?” Pope Benedict says, “In fact, the man Jesusof Nazareth is God made visible; in Him, God dwells fully. And while we tooalways seek other signs, other wonders, we do not realize that the He is thereal sign, God made flesh; He is the greatest miracle of the universe: all thelove of God hidden in a human heart, in a human face.”
After his explanation of the Gospel, the HolyFather greeted pilgrims and visitors from around the world. In his remarks toEnglish-speaking pilgrims, he said, “In today’s Gospel Jesus reminds us that ifwe live with an open and simple heart, nourished by true faith, we canrecognize the presence of God in our lives and follow his holy will.”
Finally, speaking to pilgrims from Poland, PopeBenedict noted an inter-religious prayer service to be held Sunday evening atthe former Nazi concentration camp at Majdanek. Representatives of the Greekand Latin Catholic Church, from the Orthodox Church, from the Protestantecclesial communities and from the Jewish community will offer prayers forpeace throughout the world. “I unite myself spiritually to these events,” thePope said, “and I pray for goodness and peace for the world, for Poland, and foreach of you.” He concluded his remarks with a heartfelt blessing.