Saturday, November 30, 2013

Eyebrow-Raiser From Papal Homily

During the homily at his daily Mass yesterday, Pope Francis was reported as saying, "In the Gospel, Jesus does not become angry, but pretends to when the disciples do not understand him."  I pulled this quote from Catholic News Agency but one can see many sources if they google the quote.

I'm baffled - "pretends"???  This from the Divine Son of God who exhorted us to "let your 'yes' be 'yes' and your 'no' be 'no'"?  I'd love to know of what passage the Holy Father is speaking.  Being God, Jesus never pretended for He never sought to deceive.  Such action would be inherently sinful so I fear usage of the word "pretend" in this context could be veering into murky waters.

If Scripture, itself God's word, states that Jesus was angry, then He was.  Jesus had a human nature and thus experienced emotions.  We know He was distressed in the Garden of Gethsemane, for example.  Of course, being sinless, His emotions and passions were under complete control of His will and intellect.  If the Scriptures say He was angry, it was divinely ordered.

I said there were a number of internet sources for this statement.  That doesn't necessarily mean that these sources featured independent translations of the Holy Father's remarks.  They could all be relying on one faulty translation.  Are there other translations?  I pray there are.  Please advise via the comment box.

1 comment:

  1. Here is the official link:

    The full quote is: “In the Gospel, Jesus does become angry, but pretends to when the disciples do not understand him. At Emmaus he says: ‘How foolish and slow of heart’. ‘How foolish and slow of heart’… He who does not understand the things of God is such a person."

    This is how I read it:

    If you look at it in reference to the specific biblical passage, where Jesus meets the two disciples on the way to Emmaus, Jesus is (in a sense) pretending to be someone else when they don't recognize him. Here is the relevant passage:;&version=DRA

    What did these disciples not understand? Well, they clearly didn't comprehend the true meaning of Christ's Passion and Death (at least not yet). They hadn't figured out the meaning of the empty tomb. So what does Jesus say in response? "O foolish, and slow of heart to believe in all things which the prophets have spoken. Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and so to enter into his glory?" And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded to them in all the scriptures, the things that were concerning him.

    I have heard that a better translation of "pretends" in this case might be "feigns." I think it's reasonable to interpret the above passage as Christ not REALLY being angry at these disciples--he understands their sadness--but, like a patient teacher whose students aren't "getting it," he feigns being angry at them, when he's really nudging them toward the truth.

    Sort of like how a teacher might say, "Come on, guys, didn't we go over this last week? Do I have to spell it all out for you again?"

    We don't have the full quote, but my guess is the Holy Father wasn't trying to say Jesus was NEVER angry at his disciples.


Please be respectful and courteous to others on this blog. We reserve the right to delete comments that violate courtesy and/or those that promote dissent from the Magisterium of the Roman Catholic Church.