Pope: like the Magi, let us abandon the barriers of habit and seek Jesus
"The journey of life and faith demands a deep desire and inner zeal. We need it as Church". "It is also one of the tasks of the Synod: to walk together in listening, so that the Spirit may suggest new ways, ways to bring the Gospel to the hearts of those who are indifferent, distant, of those who have lost hope but seek what the Magi found, 'a most great joy' (Mt 2:10)".
Vatican City (AsiaNews) - Rediscovering the desire to move towards God, "keeping alive the fire that burns within us and urges us to seek beyond the immediate, beyond the visible", abandoning "the barriers of habit", a life flattened by consumption, a repetitive and tired faith and, as the Magi did, staking everything in search of what God wants from us, "listening attentively to the questions of the heart, of the conscience; for this is how God often speaks, who comes to us more with questions than with answers". And let us adore him.
On the Feast of the Epiphany, of the "manifestation of Jesus", Pope Francis invites us to behave like the Magi, "wise men who came from afar, rich, cultured and known", he described them at the Angelus, who left a situation of wealth and comfort to follow the star. They, he said during the Mass celebrated in St Peter's Basilica, "They challenge us to take new paths. Here we see the creativity of the Spirit who always brings out new things. That is also one of the tasks of the Synod we are currently undertaking: to journey together and to listen to one another, so that the Spirit can suggest to us new ways and paths to bring the Gospel to the hearts of those who are distant, indifferent or without hope, yet continue to seek what the Magi found: “a great joy” (Mt 2:10). We must always move forwards.
"At the end of the Magi’s journey came the climactic moment: once they arrived at their destination, “they fell down and worshiped the Child” (cf. v. 11). They worshiped. Let us we never forget this: the journey of faith finds renewed strength and fulfilment only when it is made in the presence of God. Only if we recover our “taste” for adoration will our desire be rekindled. Desire leads us to adoration and adoration renews our desire. For our desire for God can only grow when we place ourselves in his presence. For Jesus alone heals our desires. From what? From the tyranny of needs. Indeed, our hearts grow sickly whenever our desires coincide merely with our needs. God, on the other hand, elevates our desires; he purifies them and heals them of selfishness, opening them to love for him and for our brothers and sisters. This is why we should not neglect adoration, that prayer of silent adoration which is not so common among us. Please let us not forget adoration."
Still following the example of the Magi: "as it was for the Magi, so it is for us. The journey of life and faith demands a deep desire and inner zeal. Sometimes we live in a spirit of a “parking lot”; we stay parked, without the impulse of desire that carries us forward. We do well to ask: where are we on our journey of faith? Have we been stuck all too long, nestled inside a conventional, external and formal religiosity that no longer warms our hearts and changes our lives? Do our words and our liturgies ignite in people’s hearts a desire to move towards God, or are they a “dead language” that speaks only of itself and to itself? It is sad when a community of believers loses its desire and is content with “maintenance” rather than allowing itself to be startled by Jesus and by the explosive and unsettling joy of the Gospel. It is sad when a priest has closed the door of desire, sad to fall into clerical functionalism, very sad.Let us look first to ourselves and ask: How is the journey of my faith going? This is a question that we can ask ourselves today, each one of us. How is the journey of my faith going? Is it parked or is it on the move? Faith, if it is to grow, has to begin ever anew. It needs to be sparked by desire, to take up the challenge of entering into a living and lively relationship with God. Does my heart still burn with desire for God? Or have I allowed force of habit and my own disappointments to extinguish that flame?"
And to the 20,000 people present in St Peter's Square for the recitation of the Angelus, the Pope reiterated that "if we always remain at the centre of everything with our ideas and we presume to boast about something before God, we will never fully meet Him, we will never come to adore Him. If we do not drop our pretensions, our vanities, our obsessions, our striving to excel, we may well worship someone or something in life, but it will not be the Lord!"
"If, on the other hand, we abandon our pretensions of self-sufficiency, if we make ourselves small inside, then we will rediscover the wonder of adoring Jesus. Because adoration passes through humility of heart: those who have the urge to overtake, do not realise the presence of the Lord. Jesus passes by and is ignored, as happened to many at that time, but not to the Magi. Looking at them, today we ask ourselves: how is my humility? Am I convinced that pride is impeding my spiritual progress? Do I work on my docility, to be available to God and others, or am I always centred on myself and my own demands? Do I know how to set aside my own point of view to embrace that of God and others? And finally: do I pray and worship only when I need something, or do I do it constantly because I believe I always need Jesus?". Like the Magi, Francis' concluded, we must "look at the star and walk".