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In the name of Jesus

Friday, 5 April 2013


(by L'Osservatore Romano, Weekly ed. in English, n. 15, 10 April 2013)


Only the name of Jesus is our salvation. Only he can save us. And no one else. Even less modern “magicians” with their improbable tarot card prophecies who bewitch and delude men and women today.

It was on the name of Jesus (cf. Acts 4:1-12) that Pope Francis focused his reflection on Friday morning, 5 April, in the Octave of Easter, at Mass in the Chapel of the Domus Sanctae Marthae. Present were the Sediari pontifici (the pontifical chair-bearers) and employees and religious of the St John of God Brothers who work at the Vatican Pharmacy.

Pope Francis explained that “Peter reveals a truth when he says: 'by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth'. Because he answers inspired by the Holy Spirit”. In fact we, he continued, “cannot profess Jesus, we cannot speak of Jesus, we cannot say anything about Jesus without the Holy Spirit”. It is the Holy Spirit himself “who urges us to profess Jesus or to talk about Jesus or to have trust in Jesus”. And is it Jesus himself who is beside us “on our journey through life, always”.

The Pope then recounted a personal experience linked to his memory of a man, the father of eight, who worked for 30 years in the Archiepiscopal Curia of Buenos Aires. “Before going out, before going to do any of the things he had to do”, the Holy Father said, “he would whisper to himself: 'Jesus!'. I once asked him ‘Why do you keep saying Jesus?’. ‘When I say Jesus’, this humble man answered me, ‘I feel strong’, I feel able to work because I know he is beside me, that he is preserving me’”. This man, the Pope said, “had not studied theology. He had only the grace of Baptism and the power of the Spirit. His witness did so much good for me. The name of Jesus. There is no other name. Perhaps it will to do good to all of us”, who live in a “world that offers us such a multitude of ‘saviours’”, the Pope said. Whenever there are problems, he noted, “people do not commend themselves to Jesus, but to others”, even turning to self-styled “magicians”, “that they may resolve matters”. People “consult tarot cards”, to know what to do. But there is no salvation there: it is “in the name of Jesus. And we should bear witness to this! He is the one Saviour”.

Then he spoke of Mary. “Our Lady”, Pope Francis said, “always takes us to Jesus. Call upon Our Lady, and she will do what she did at Cana: ‘Do whatever he tells you!’”. She “was the first person to act in the name of Jesus”. He finished, “Today — a day in the week of the Lord's Resurrection — I would like us to carry this in our heart: I entrust myself to the name of Jesus; I pray, 'Jesus, Jesus!'”.


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