Fr Stefan reflects on Pope Francis teaching on the Anointing

We read in the first reading this morning at mass, “But you have the anointing that comes from the Holy One, and you have all knowledge.”(1Jn 2:19-20)

Pope Francis writes, “In the midst of divisions and attitudes contrary to the cross of the Lord, our security is rooted in the anointing. It is the word received and internalized. Through the anointing we receive all knowledge, and it teaches us about everything.(1Jn 2:27)…The Lord calls to anoint what needs to be perfected and cured: the dead are anointed  (Mk 16:1); the sick are anointed (Mk ^:13; Jas 5:14); wounds are anointed (Lk 10:34)l; penitents are anointed (Mt 6:17). The anointing also carries the sense of reparation. (Lk 7:38, 46; 10:34; Jn 11:2 12:3) All these senses hold validity by the anointing of the Holy One. The yoke of slavery is destroyed by means of the anointing. (Is 10:27) The first to be anointed is the Lord. (Lk 2:26; 4:18; Acts 4:26; 10:38) He was anointed with the ‘oil of gladness.’ (Heb 1:9) Gladness evokes glory. To be anointed means to participate in the glory of Christ, which is the cross. ‘The hour has come for the son of man to be glorified..Father glorify your name.’ (Jn 12:23,28) Conversely, those who seek peace or contradiction apart from the anointing, do not seek the glory of God on the Cross of Christ: ‘How can you believe, you who receive glory from one another and do not seek the glory that comes from the only God?”(Jn 5″44) 

Cantalamessa says in his book, ‘Sober intoxication of the Spirit’ “For the early Church Father the name ‘Christians’ did not primarily mean ‘followers of the doctrine of Christ,’ as it did for the pagans who first gave them the name at Antioch. (Acts 11:26) Rather, the name Christian meant ‘anointed, consecrated’ in imitation of Christ, the Consecrated One par excellence. According to Theophilus, ‘We are called Christians ‘christianoi’ because we have been anointed ‘chriometha’ with the oil of God. The result of all this is that we have in ourselves the same Spirit who was in Jesus of Nazareth.”

One of the things that most excited me about Pope Francis is that he is a friend of Charismatic Renewal. In fact, he was the one who brought the renewal to Argentina. One of the gems that the Renewal has brought to the church is the importance of the anointing..

When I give talks on the renewal I ask the people where did the miracles of Jesus come from? They often respond from the fact that he was God. If the miracles came from His divinity. Then we could not do the same things that Jesus did because we are not God. Jesus says, “You will do the very same works and even greater because I go to the Father.” The miracles of Jesus came through the Holy Spirit working in and through His Humanity. Jesus says in one instance, “If it is by the finger of God that I cast out devils.” The finger of God is an image of the Holy Spirit.

We can do the very same things that Jesus did, because we have the same Holy Spirit that was in Jesus of Nazareth.

Come Holy Spirit and anoint us. Come Holy Spirit and anoint me. 

“You have the anointing that comes from the Holy One, and you have all knowledge.”(1Jn 2:19-20)


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