VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Jesus astonished people with the way he taught and interacted with others because he wasn’t aloof, domineering or hypocritical, Pope Francis said in a homily. “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, he said at the Mass Jan. 10 in the chapel of his residence. “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.” The pope’s homily centered on the day’s Gospel reading (Mk 1:21-28) in which people gathered at the synagogue in Capernaum “were astonished” at Jesus’ teaching because he displayed an authority that differed so greatly from that of the scribes. The people would listen to and be respectful toward the doctors of the law and the scribes, but the people didn’t take what they said “to heart,” he said.