Vatican City, Jan 6, 2019 / 05:47 am
To be clothed in the divine light of Christ, follow the example of the three magi, who put aside worldly power and success and rose to follow the star to Jesus, Pope Francis encouraged Sunday at Mass for Epiphany.
“We need to arise, to get up from our sedentary lives and prepare for a journey,” he said Jan. 6. “We also need to shine, to be clothed in God who is light, day by day, until we are fully clothed in Jesus.”
“Yet to be clothed in God, who like the light is simple, we must first put aside our pretentious robes,” he continued. “Otherwise, we will be like Herod, who preferred the earthly lights of success and power to the divine light.”
“The Magi, instead, fulfil the prophecy. They arise and shine and are clothed in light. They alone see the star in the heavens: not the scribes, nor Herod, nor any of the inhabitants of Jerusalem.”
In a homily at Mass for the Solemnity of the Epiphany of the Lord, Pope Francis reflected on the three magi, or wise men, who bearing gifts, came to see the Child Jesus in Bethlehem.
“Let us ask ourselves this question: at Christmas did we bring gifts to Jesus for his party, or did we only exchange gifts among ourselves?” he asked. “If we went to the Lord empty-handed, today we can remedy that.”
Today’s feast asks Catholics to imitate the magi, the pope said. “They do not debate; they set out. They do not stop to look, but enter the house of Jesus. They do not put themselves at the center, but bow down before the One who is the center. They do not remain glued to their plans, but are prepared to take other routes.”
“Their actions reveal a close contact with the Lord, a radical openness to him, a total engagement with him. With him, they use the language of love, the same language that Jesus, though an infant, already speaks. Indeed, the Magi go to the Lord not to receive, but to give,” he stated.