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What was Jesus’ identity card? Pope Francis explains

Antoine Mekary | ALETEIA | I.MEDIA

Takes up topic of Confirmation for Wednesday catecheses

Jesus had a particular way of defining or presenting himself, as is seen in the synagogue of Nazareth. He says he is the one “anointed” with the Spirit.

Pope Francis noted Our Lord’s self-description today as he took up the Sacrament of Confirmation for his next topic of Wednesday audiences.

He started off noting the mission that Christ entrusts the disciples: “You are the salt of the earth … you are the light of the world” …

“These are images that make us think of our behavior, because both the lack of salt and the excess of salt make food disgusting, just as the lack and the excess of light prevent us from seeing. Only the Spirit of Christ can really make us salt that gives flavor and preserves from corruption, and light that enlightens the world.”

Francis added that without the strength of the Spirit, “we cannot do anything.”

“It is the Spirit Who gives us the strength to go on. Just as all the life of Jesus was inspired by the Spirit, so the life of the Church too, and of each of her members, is under the guidance of the same Spirit.”

The pope noted how this consecration in the Spirit was Jesus’ “identity card.”

“He declares it explicitly in the synagogue of Nazareth: it is beautiful how Jesus presents Himself, Jesus’ identity card in the synagogue of Nazareth! Let us listen to how He does it: ‘The Spirit of the Lord is on me; because He has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor.’ Jesus presents Himself in the synagogue of His village as the Anointed one, He Who has been anointed by the Spirit.”

Jesus is both filled with the Spirit and is also the wellspring of the Spirit.

“The ‘breath’ of the Risen Christ fills the lungs of the Church with life,” the Holy Father said.

“It is the great gift of God, the Holy Spirit. And we all have the Spirit within,” Francis said. “The Spirit is in our heart, in our soul. And the Spirit guides us in life so that we become the right salt and the right light for mankind.”

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