The Bible is the star of Bethlehem for today, Pope says

People gather in St. Peter's Square today to pray the Angelus and hear Pope Benedict
People gather in St. Peter's Square today to pray the Angelus and hear Pope Benedict


As the magi saw God's path by following the light of the star, Christians today find their way by the light of sacred Scriptures, Pope Benedict XVI told a large crowd gathered in St. Peter's Square today.

The Pope made his remarks following the celebration of Mass Jan. 6 for the solemnity of the Epiphany. Epiphany recalls the biblical story of the oriental kings who followed the star to Bethlehem to adore the newborn Jesus Christ.

In his homily at the Mass, the Pope said the image of the magi should remind believers to seek their direction in life through meditation and prayer.

"They were certain that in creation there exists that which we could define as the 'signature' of God, a signature that man can and must attempt to discover and decipher," he said.

On their route they found Herod, who saw God as "a rival," said the Pope.

"Perhaps, do we too sometimes see God as some sort of rival?" he asked. “When we see God in this way we end up feeling dissatisfied and unhappy, because do not we let ourselves be guided by him who is the foundation of all things.”

He added: "We must remove from our minds and our hearts the idea of rivalry, the idea that giving space to God means imposing a limit for ourselves; we must open ourselves to the certainty that God is omnipotent love who takes nothing away – (He is) no threat, indeed, He is the only one capable of offering us the opportunity to live fully, to experience real joy."

He said the magi’s trust in the star testifies to their faith that God gives signs of himself in creation.

As "wise men," he explained, "they knew well that it was not with just any telescope, but with the profound eyes of reason in search of the ultimate meaning of reality ... that is possible to find Him, actually it makes it possible for God to come closer to us.”

"The world is not the result of chance as some would like to make us believe," the Pope said.

In creation, we can see "the wisdom of the Creator, the inexhaustible fantasy of God and his infinite love for us," he said.

Pope Benedict urged people to not allow their minds be limited by theories that "if we look closely, are not at all in competition with the faith, but are not able to explain the ultimate meaning of reality."

The "language of creation" can only take a person so far on his walk towards God, he said. For the magi, "it was indispensable to hear the voice of the Sacred Scriptures: only those (words) could indicate their way," the Pope said referring to how the wise men consulted the Jewish leaders for direction.

"The Word of God is the true star, which in the uncertainty of human discourse offers us the immense splendor of the divine truth, walking with the Church, where the Word has put up its tent. Our path will always be illuminated by a light that no other sign can give us. And we also will be able to become stars for others, reflections of that light that Christ made shine in us."

Following the Mass, the Pope sent a special greeting to the "brothers and sisters of the oriental Churches," who celebrate Christmas on Jan. 7. He asked that the goodness of God strengthen them in faith, hope and charity and comfort them in difficult times.

He also thanked the children of the world participating in World Day for Missionary Childhood and said their prayer and commitment representents a "real contribution" to the Church's mission.

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