Pope Francis has said that during his time on earth, Jesus Christ touched so many hearts and amazed thousands of people because of His humility and willingness to spend time with those most looked down upon by society.
"Jesus wasn't allergic to people. Touching lepers, the sick did not disgust him," whereas the Pharisees - who strolled around in fine clothes - looked down on the people and considered them ignorant, the pontiff said in a recent homily,
"They were removed from the people, they weren't close," the pope said of the Pharisees. "Jesus was very close to the people and this gave him authority."
Francis' message was based on Mark 1:21-28, in which people gathered at the synagogue in Capernaum "were amazed" by Jesus' teaching. The pope pointed out that while the people would listen to the doctors of the law and the scribes, they never actually took such teachings to heart - until Jesus spoke.
Unlike such teachers, Jesus "never passed himself off as a prince. He was always the servant of everyone and this is what gave him authority," Pope Francis explained. Thus, Jesus' humility and service - evident to all who met Him - were at the heart of His influence.
Jesus also lived what he preached, unlike the traditional teachers, who were hypocrites in declaring the truth, but not doing what they preached. Pope Francis stressed that today, rules and regulation with no action ultimately have no authority because people cannot respond to it.
"Jesus, who is humble, who is at the service (of others), who is near, who doesn't despise people and who is consistent, has authority," the pope said. "This is the authority that the people of God sense."
Throughout his ministry, Pope Francis has stressed that there is "no other way" for Christians to live than in humility: "Francis has presented himself to the world as an icon of simplicity and humility, eschewing papal limousines and the grand Apostolic Palace, and instead being driven in a Ford Focus and living in the Vatican guesthouse," notes the Atlantic.
Last year, Francis said there is a significant difference between true humility and "theatrical humility": "Humility is the virtue of the childlike and this is true humility and not a rather theatrical humility: no, not that: the humility of someone who said: 'I am humble but proud of being so.' No, that is not true humility," the pope warned.
"The humility of the childlike is that of somebody who walks in the presence of the Lord, does not speak badly about others, looks only at serving and feels that he or she is the smallest."
True humility is connected to the fear of the Lord: "Fear of the Lord is not terror: no, it is putting into practice God's commandment that he gave to our father Abraham: 'Live in my presence, be perfect,' Humble - this is humility, fear of the Lord is humility," he said.
Humility provides a better path and allows us to impress upon others the truth of the Gospel, the pope explained.
"Looking at Jesus who rejoiced because God reveals his mystery to the humble, we can ask for the grace of humility for all of us, the grace of fear of God, of walking in his presence trying to be perfect. And in this way with this humility, we can be vigilant in prayer, carrying out works of brotherly charity and rejoicing and giving praise," he said.