Vatican City, Jan 6, 2017 / 04:47 am
On Friday, the Feast of the Epiphany, Pope Francis said that the Magi are not just men who sought out and worshiped the Christ-child a long time ago – they exemplify everyone who has a restless heart, everyone searching for God.
The hearts of the Magi “were open to the horizon and they could see what the heavens were showing them, for they were guided by an inner restlessness,” he said Jan. 6. “They were open to something new.”
“The Magi thus personify all those who believe, those who long for God, who yearn for their home, their heavenly homeland.”
In his homily in St. Peter’s Basilica, Pope Francis explained how this “holy longing” for God is present in the hearts of believers because we know that the Gospel is not just something of the past, but that it is also here and now.
And this longing for God is what helps to keep us alert in the face of trials, and to keep the faith, even amongst “prophets of doom” and those people and things who try to “impoverish” our lives, he said.
“That longing keeps hope alive in the community of believers, which from week to week continues to plead: ‘Come, Lord Jesus.’”
This longing can be seen throughout the New Testament, Francis pointed out. It can be seen in the elderly Simeon, who went every day to the Temple, certain that he would hold the Savior before his life ended. The same longing can be seen in the Prodigal Son, leading him to abandon his self-destructive lifestyle and return to his father.
The shepherd who leaves the 99 to search for the one lost sheep has this longing. Mary Magdalen experienced this longing too, when she went to the tomb on that first Easter morning looking for Christ.