Presiding today over the Eucharistic celebration for the celebration of the Solemnity of the Epiphany, Pope Benedict remarked that the Church has for mission to shine the light of Christ to the World.
Pope Benedict defined the Epiphany as a mystery of light”, this light, “is the love of God, revealed in the Person of the Word incarnated”.
He reflected upon the words of Saint John the Apostle in his first Letter: “God is light and in Him, there is no darkness.” The light that emerges from Christmas, that is manifested today to the people, is the Love of God, revealed in the Peson ot the Word made flesh.”
Benedict XVI defined the Epiphany as “a mystery of light” that of Christ, which “radiates on earth, spreading as though in concentric circles”: to the Virgin Mary and to Joseph; to the “shepherds of Bethlehem”, representative of the “rest of Israel, the poor, the anawim”; and “finally reaching the Magi, who constitute the first fruits of the pagan people”.
“The palaces of power of Jerusalem remain in the shadows,” continues the pope. “Paradoxically, the news of the Messiah’s birth is delivered there by the very Magi, provoking not joy but fear and hostile reactions. A mysterious divine plan: “The light has come into the world, and people loved darkness rather than light because their deeds were evil” (Jn 3:19)
Christ, “beginning of universal reconciliation and recapitulation,” God reveals himself as “a light for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to his people Israel” (Lk 2:32), a response to the anticipation of the chosen people of Israel and all the peoples on earth
The mystery of the Church and its missionary dimension is also manifested in the liturgical context of the Epiphany,” continued the Pope. “She is called to make Christ’s light shine in the world and to reflect it herself, as the moon reflects the light of the sun.” Christians, trained by Christ to live in the way of the Beatitudes, are called to draw, “through the witness of love”, all mankind to God. But this great mission of the Church is marked by sin and by errors. “
The Pope ended his homily inviting the faithful to follow Mary, “With her example of total availability to the will of God she teaches us to be ‘epiphany’ of the Lord, through the opening of her heart to the strength of grace and faithful adherence to the word of her Son, the light of the world and the ultimate aspiration of history.”