Pope Francis says the story of the Magi and today’s feast of the Epiphany highlight the “universal breadth” of the Church, which “desires that all the peoples of the earth be able to meet Jesus, to experience His merciful love.”
The Pope said this today before praying the midday Angelus with those gathered in St. Peter’s Square.
He explained that the Church has always seen in the Magi the image of the whole of humanity.
With today’s feast, the Pontiff said, the Church “wishes to indicate respectfully, to every man and woman of this world, the Child that was born for the salvation of all.”
Open to God
The Magi and the shepherds represent two contrasting groups of people, but both found the Christ Child, the Pope continued, pointing out that the Magi and the shepherds were able to find Him because they had something in common:
“The shepherds and the Magi are very different from one another; however, they have one thing in common: the heavens. The shepherds of Bethlehem went immediately to see Jesus, not because they were particularly good, but because they were watching in the night and, raising their eyes to the heavens, they saw a sign, they listened to its message and followed it. So, also, did the Magi: they scrutinized the heavens, they saw a new star, they interpreted the sign, and started out from afar.”
Thus, the Pope reflected, both the shepherds and the Magi “teach us that to meet Jesus it is necessary to be able to raise one’s gaze to the heavens, not to be withdrawn in oneself, in one’s egoism, but to have the heart and mind open to the horizon of God, who always surprises us, to be able to receive His messages, and to answer with promptness and generosity.”
Pope Francis further reflected that the star — the Gospel — is a great consolation to us, because to see the star is “to feel guided and not abandoned to our fate.”
“Without listening to the Gospel, it is impossible to meet Him!,” the Pope said.
As well, the Magi’s example “exhorts us not to be content with mediocrity, not to ‘get by’ somehow, but to seek the meaning of things, to scrutinize passionately the great mystery of life. And it teaches us not to be scandalized by littleness and poverty, but to recognize the majesty of humility, and to be able to kneel before it.”
Taking His light to others
The Holy Father concluded by asking Mary’s help: “May the Virgin Mary, who received the Magi at Bethlehem, help us to raise our gaze from ourselves, to let ourselves be guided b y the star of the Gospel to meet Jesus, and to be able to abase ourselves to adore Him. Thus we will be able to take to others a ray of His light, and to share with them the joy of the way.”
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