Pope Francis: Amid Deceptions of World, We Must Continue to Ask 'Where is the Star?'

On Feast of Epiphany, Pope Calls on Faithful to Analyze Personal Journey of Conversion

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Pope Francis is calling on the faithful to consider how they can start to undergo the same journey of conversion experienced by the Wise Men. 

During Mass on the Solemnity of the Epiphany, celebrated Jan. 6 in Rome, the Pope said the Three Kings are models of conversion to the true faith because they believed more in the goodness of God than in the apparent splendor of power.

Despite difficulties and temptations, the Pope said, the wise men realized that God’s criteria is quite different from those of men. God «does not manifest himself in the power of this world, but speaks to us in the humbleness of his love.”

«What is the mystery in which God is hidden? Where can I find him?» he asked. 

There is Jesus in all the realities of today, Francis responded, particularly in those who are enduring difficult situations, such as war, trafficking, and exploitation.

“The crib points us to a different path from the one cherished by the thinking of this world,» he said, for «it is the path of God’s self-abasement, his glory concealed in the manger of Bethlehem, on the cross upon Calvary, in each of our suffering brothers and sisters.”

The 78-year-old Pontiff also said that the conversion of the wise men happened when they passed from human calculations to the mystery. He also exhorted the faithful to examine their own conversion and told them to ask God “to protect and to set us free from the temptations which hide the star.”

Amid the deceptions of this world, the Pope said, we are to always feel the need to ask “the troubling question: ‘Where is the star?’» whenever we lose sight of it.

The Pope expressed his hope for all faithful to know ever anew God’s mystery, and “not to be scandalized by the ‘sign’ which points to ‘a babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.’”

In addition, he called on those present to find the courage «to be liberated from our illusions and presumptions» and «to seek an encounter with the Light,» just like the Wise Men.

Word of God renews our hearts

After the Mass, Pope Francis appeared at the window of his study in the Apostolic Vatican Palace to pray the Angelus with those gathered in Saint Peter’s Square.

During his address before the prayer, the Pope stressed how the Magi’s experience evokes the journey of every man to Christ. Christians, he said, must seek God, just as the Magi did, which requires “fixing our gaze on heaven and seeing in the visible sign of the star the invisible God who speaks to our heart.”

The star that is able to guide every man to Jesus, he said, is the Word of God, which is the light that «directs our path, nourishes our faith and regenerates it,” and “constantly renews our hearts.”

“We must not forget to read it and meditate it every day,» he stressed, «so that it becomes for each one of us a flame that we carry within us to guide our steps and also those of one who walks beside us, who perhaps finds it hard to find the way to Christ.”


On ZENIT’s Web page

Full Translation of Homily: http://www.zenit.org/en/articles/pope-s-homily-for-today-s-feast-of-the-epiphany

Full Translation of Angelus: http://www.zenit.org/en/articles/pope-s-angelus-address-on-solemnity-of-the-epiphany

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Deborah Castellano Lubov

Deborah Castellano Lubov is Senior Vatican & Rome Correspondent for ZENIT; author of 'The Other Francis' ('L'Altro Francesco') featuring interviews with those closest to the Pope and preface by Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Parolin (currently published in 5 languages); Deborah is also NBC & MSNBC Vatican Analyst. She often covers the Pope's travels abroad, often from the Papal Flight (including for historic trips such as to Abu Dhabi and Japan & Thailand), and has also asked him questions on the return-flight press conference on behalf of the English-speaking press present. Lubov has done much TV & radio commentary, including for NBC, Sky, EWTN, BBC, Vatican Radio, AP, Reuters and more. She also has contributed to various books on the Pope and has written for various Catholic publications. For 'The Other Francis': http://www.gracewing.co.uk/page219.html or https://www.amazon.com/Other-Francis-Everything-They-about/dp/0852449348/

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