“He was born not only for some but for all men and women, for all peoples. The light is for all peoples, salvation is for all peoples,” he said.
He then reflected on how Christ’s light continued to spread in the world.
He said: “It does not do so through the powerful means of this world’s empires who always seek to seize power. No, Christ’s light spreads through the proclamation of the Gospel. Through proclamation … by word and witness.”
“And with this same ‘method,’ God chose to come among us: the Incarnation, that is, by drawing near to the other, encountering the other, assuming the reality of the other and bringing the witness of our faith, everyone.”
“This is the only way that Christ’s light, who is Love, can shine in those who welcome it and attract others. Christ’s light does not expand only through words, through fake methods, commercial ones… No, no, through faith, word and witness. Thus the light of Christ expands.”
The pope added: “Christ’s light does not expand through proselytism. It expands through witness, through the confession of the faith. Even through martyrdom.”
Pope Francis said that we should welcome the light, but never think we possess it or should “manage” it.
“No. Like the Magi, we too are called to allow ourselves to be fascinated, attracted, guided, illuminated and converted by Christ: He is the journey of faith, through prayer and the contemplation of God’s works, who continually fills us with joy and wonder, an ever new wonder. That wonder is always the first step to go forward in this light,” he said.
After reciting the Angelus, the pope made his appeal for the Central African Republic. He then offered Christmas greetings to “the brothers and sisters of the Oriental Churches, Catholic and Orthodox,” who will celebrate the Nativity of the Lord on Jan. 7.
Pope Francis noted that the feast of the Epiphany also marked World Missionary Childhood Day, instituted by Pope Pius XII in 1950. He said that many children around the world would be commemorating the day.
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“I thank each one of them and I encourage them to be joyful witnesses of Jesus, seeking to always bring fraternity among your peers,” he said.
The pope also sent a special greeting to the Three Kings Parade Foundation, which, he explained, “organizes events of evangelization and solidarity in numerous cities and villages in Poland and in other nations.”
Concluding his address, he said: “I wish you all a happy feast day! Please do not forget to pray for me.”