Pope Francis said the gospel account of the Magi who came from afar to worship the Baby Jesus gives “an air of universality” to the feast of the Epiphany. He said “the Church has always seen in herself the image of all humanity” and through this feast wishes, as it were, “to guide, with respect, every man and woman of this world towards the Child Jesus who was born to save us all.”
The Pope explained that both the Magi and the shepherds who came to pay homage to the Christ Child teach us that in order to meet Jesus “we need to raise our eyes towards the sky and not be bent over ourselves and our own egoism" but instead have our “hearts and our minds open to the horizon of God.”
Just as the Magi experienced a great joy when seeing the star in the sky, it is also a great consolation for us, said the Pope, to feel we are “being guided and not abandoned to our own destinies.” The experience of the Magi, he continued, “is an appeal for us not to settle for mediocrity and not to scrape a living” but instead “seek the sense of things” and “to examine with passion the great mystery of life.” Pope Francis said it also teaches us “to not to be scandalized by the smallness and poverty” but “to recognize the majesty in humility and learn how to knee in front of it.”
In further remarks after the recitation of the Angelus prayer, Pope Francis expressed his “spiritual closeness” to our “brothers and sisters of the Christian Orient,” Catholics and Orthodox many of whom celebrate Christmas on January 7th, saying he wished them peace and happiness.
|Pope Francis kisses a statue of Baby Jesus during the Epiphany mass (Three Kings' Day) on January 6, 2016 at St Peter's basilica in Vatican. AFP PHOTO / GABRIEL BOUYS / AFP / GABRIEL BOUYS|
Please find translation in English of Pope Francis’ prepared remarks for his homily at the Mass in St Peter's Basilica celebrating the solemnity of the Epiphany here.
Other pictures from the day available from Getty Images here.