Vatican City, Jan 6, 2015 / 17:24 pm
Like the Magi who followed the star from the East, Christians are called to follow the light of the Gospel attentively, tirelessly, and courageously, said Pope Francis during his Epiphany Angelus address.
"The experience of the Magi evokes the journey of every man toward Christ," the Pope said on Jan. 6 to the thousands gathered in Saint Peter's Square. Like that of the Magi, he said, our search for God also "means to walk.... staring at the sky and seeing, within the visible sign of the star, the invisible God who speaks to our hearts."
By coming to adore the Child Jesus, the Holy Father said, the Magi gave witness of His coming to earth "to save, not only one people, but all people." For this reason, the feast of the Epiphany is an occasion for "our gaze to extend to the horizons of the entire world," celebrating the "expression" of God's love.
The Pope added that this love is for all, and not reserved for a few privileged persons.
"Even those who seem far from the Lord," he said, "are followed – even 'chased' – by His impassioned love, by his faithful love" which is "also humble."
Reflecting on the Gospel account of Magi coming from the East, the Pope observed their attentiveness to the signs which led them to their destination, as well as their tirelessness and their courage.
This is the Christian life, he said: "To walk attentively, tirelessly, and courageously."
The star which guides "every man to Jesus," Pope Francis said, is the Word of God – the "light which guides our journey, nourishes our faith, and renews it."
Pope Francis encouraged the faithful, as he has done on previous occasions, to carry a copy of the Bible with them to read and meditate upon each day. In doing so, the Word of God may become "like a flame which we carry within us to illuminate our steps, as well as [the steps] of those walking beside us, who are perhaps struggling to find the path to Christ."
The Pope extended his greeting to Eastern Christians, Catholic and Orthodox, many of whom celebrate Christmas on Jan. 7, the day after the Epiphany.
The Holy Father then recalled that Jan. 6 coincides the World Day of Missionary Childhood, and encouraged "educators to cultivate in little ones a missionary spirit, in order that there may arise from among them witnesses of God's tenderness and proclaimers of the Gospel."
Before leading the crowds in the Angelus prayer, Pope Francis concluded his address, calling on the Virgin Mary to grant "her protection on the universal Church," in order that the Gospel, which is "the light of every people," might spread throughout the whole world.