17 January 2018
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  • » 01/06/2018, 11.41

    VATICAN

    Pope: Like the Magi we journey to see the star, set out, to freely bring gifts



    At Mass for the solemnity of the Epiphany, Pope Francis suggests we imitate the Magi: to lift "our eyes to the sky", not to be satisfied with "drifting". "Success, money, careers, honors, pleasures sought as the purpose of our existence ... shine for a while, but they soon crash and their glow fades. They are shooting stars ". "To freely give for the Lord, without expecting something in return: this is a sure sign of having found Jesus".

    Vatican City (AsiaNews) - "Three actions of the Magi guide our journey towards the Lord, who today is revealed as light and salvation for all peoples. The Magi see the star, they set out and they bring gifts". This is how Pope Francis summarized the meaning of today's solemnity, the Epiphany of Our Lord, in Mass celebrated this morning in St Peter’s basilica. Referring to some passages from the Gospel (Matthew 2: 1-12), which recalls the episode of the adoration of the Magi coming from the East, the Pope underlined three actions:

    "Seeing the star. This is where it starts. But why, we might ask, did the Magi alone see the star? Perhaps because few people raised their eyes to heaven. We often make do with looking at the ground: it’s enough to have our health, a little money and a bit of entertainment. I wonder if we still know how to look up at the sky. Do we know how to dream, to long for God, to expect the newness he brings, or do we let ourselves be swept along by life, like dry branches before the wind? The Magi were not content with just getting by, with keeping afloat. They understood that to truly live, we need a lofty goal and we need to keep looking up".

    "Yet we can also ask why, among all those who looked up at the heavens, so many others did not follow that star, “his star” (Mt 2:2). Perhaps because the star was not eye-catching, did not shine any brighter than other stars. It was a star – so the Gospel tells us – that the Magi saw “at its rising” (vv. 2, 9). Jesus’ star does not dazzle or overwhelm, but gently invites. We may ask ourselves what star we have chosen to follow in our lives. Some stars may be bright, but they do not point the way. So it is with success, money, career, honours and pleasures when these become our life. They are meteors: they blaze momentarily, but then quickly burn out and their brilliance fades. They are shooting stars that mislead rather than lead. The Lord’s star, however, may not always overwhelm by its brightness, but it is always there: it takes you by the hand in life and accompanies you. It does not promise material reward, but ensures peace and grants, as it did to the Magi, “exceedingly great joy” (Mt 2:10).

    "Setting out, the second thing the Magi do, is essential if we are to find Jesus. His star demands a decision to take up the journey and to advance tirelessly on our way. It demands that we free ourselves from useless burdens and unnecessary extras that only prove a hindrance, and accept unforeseen obstacles along the map of life. Jesus allows himself to be found by those who seek him, but to find him we need to get up and go, not sit around but take risks, not stand still, but set out. Jesus makes demands: he tells those who seek him to leave behind the armchair of worldly comforts and the reassuring warmth of hearth and home. Following Jesus is not a polite etiquette to be observed, but a journey to be undertaken".

    The Pope noted the difference between the Magi’s “setting out” and the "remaining still" of Herod and the priests of the temple: " There is Herod, wild with fear that the birth of a king will threaten his power. So he organizes meetings and sends people out to gather information, yet he himself does not budge; he stays locked up in his palace. Even “all Jerusalem” (v. 3) is afraid: afraid of the new things God is bringing about. They want everything to remain as it was; no one has the courage to leave. The temptation of the priests and scribes is more subtle: they know the exact place and tell it to Herod, quoting the ancient prophecy. They know, but they themselves make no move towards Bethlehem. Theirs can be the temptation of those who are used to being believers: they can talk at length about the faith they know so well, but will not take a personal risk for the Lord. They talk, but do not pray; they complain, but do no good. The Magi, on the other hand, talk little and journey much".

    Finally, the word "Bring gifts .... The Gospel becomes real when the journey of life ends in giving. To give freely, for the Lord’s sake, without expecting anything in return: this is the sure sign that we have found Jesus. For he says: “The gift you have received, give freely as a gift” (Mt 10:8). To do good without counting the cost, even when unasked, even when you gain nothing thereby, even if it is unpleasant. That is what God wants. He, who become small for our sake, asks us to offer something for the least of his brothers and sisters. Who are they? They are those who have nothing to give in return, the needy, the hungry, the stranger, the prisoner, the poor (cf. Mt 25:31-46). We give a gift pleasing to Jesus when we care for a sick person, spend time with a difficult person, help someone for the sake of helping, or forgive someone who has hurt us".

    The Pope concluded: “Today let us look at our hands, so often empty of love, and let us try to think of some free gift that we can give without expecting anything in return. That will please the Lord. And let us ask him: “Lord, let me rediscover the joy of giving ".

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    See also

    06/01/2009 VATICAN
    Divine love, incarnate in Christ, is the universal law of Creation, says Pope
    On the solemnity of the Epiphany, Benedict XVI said that the Magi were astronomers, scientists whose studies of the stars led them to discover God made man. Jesus’ birth is a “cosmological revolution”. Man does not depend upon cosmic forces but on the relationship to the Author of Creation, source of hope even in the darkest moments of history, like now. The Church, modelled on the persona of Saint Paul, is the Magi’s star, leading the nations to God.

    06/01/2016 VATICAN
    Pope at Epiphany: For the Church, "There is no other way. Mission is her vocation”
    Speaking at the Epiphany Mass, Pope Francis reiterated the Church’s missionary mission, which is not proselytising. The Church lives from the ‘mysterium lunae’. She reflects God’s light, and cannot “illude herself into thinking that she shines with her own light”. “Like the Magi, countless people, in our own day, have a ‘restless heart’.” In front of the child and his mother, let us present them with our gifts: “our freedom, our understanding and our love."

    06/01/2017 15:19:00 VATICAN
    Pope: like the Magi, "Those who seek light, must go out and search” and “place their own life on the line”

    Some 60,000 people gather in St Peter's Square for the Angelus prayer. Francis has some volunteers, including some who are poor and homeless, hand out a booklet titled ‘Icons of Mercy’ to those present.



    06/01/2014 VATICAN
    Pope: the Magi teach us to follow "the Light" and use "holy cunning" to keep the faith
    On the feast day of Epiphany, of the 'Lord's manifestation', Francis said that "The destiny of every person is symbolized in this journey of the Magi of the East: our life is a journey, illuminated by the lights which brighten our way, to find the fullness of truth and of love". The Holy Father also sends his best wishes to "the brothers and sisters of the Eastern Churches that celebrate Christmas tomorrow. May the peace God gave humanity with the birth of Jesus, the Word Incarnate, strengthen in everyone faith, hope, and charity, and give comfort to Christian communities at a time of trial."

    06/01/2011 VATICAN
    Like the Magi, we seek the light that shows the path to take in life, Pope says
    In looking at the universe, which was not created randomly, they sought the true light. They found it following the Scriptures. There is a bit of Herod in each of us when we see God as a limit to our freedom. Pope speaks about Eastern Churches, currently under pressure, who celebrate Christmas now.



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