.- Pope Benedict XVI celebrated the Mass of the Epiphany this morning at St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican, accompanied by hundreds of clergy and thousands of the faithful. In his homily, the Holy Father called for authentic humility to “start walking the road” indicated by "the star" of the Lord.
On the feast of the Epiphany, the church celebrates the arrival of the Magi to the nativity. These Eastern Kings, said the Pope, came from a distant land to give homage while those who were in nearby Bethlehem and Jerusalem neglected the signs and remained ignorant of the savior's birth.
We run the same risk today "even though the few in Bethlehem have become many, the believers in Jesus Christ always seem to be few,” the Holy Father cautioned.
"Many have seen the star, but only a few have understood the message."
Despite possessing the knowledge to see and find the Lord, many are impeded by "too much confidence in themselves, the pretext of perfectly knowing the reality..." he added.
The presumption of forming a definitive judgment on the workings of the world, continued the Pontiff, closes a person's heart and makes it "insensitive to the novelty of God." This trust in self rather than in God makes many think it impossible that He could be great enough to reduce himself to our size and to be approachable, he explained.
"What is lacking is authentic humility to know how to submit to that which is great with authentic courage, which leads us to believe in that which is truly great, even if it is manifested in a defenseless Child," the Pope stated.
The answer, he said, is that we must have the "evangelical capacity to be children at heart ... and to allow ourselves to start walking on the road indicated by the star, the way of God."
The Pontiff added that "The Lord ... has the power to render us capable of seeing and of saving us. So, we want to ask Him to give us a wise and innocent heart, one that permits us to see the star and his mercy, to start walking on his road (and) to find him and be inundated by the great light and the true joy that he brings to this world."