Pope Francis says the Church should worship God like the Magi

Pope Francis says the Church should worship God like the Magi

Pope Francis with some special visitors at the general audience, Dec. 21, 2022

On the Solemnity of the Epiphany, Pope Francis said that the Magi would have never met the Lord in Bethlehem if they had stayed comfortable.

In his sermon for the Church’s Three Kings commemoration on January 6, the pope cautioned that the modern world is filled with “tranquilizers of the soul” and “empty promises of pleasure.”

Pope said that from unending materialism to “nonstop media controversies” and the “idolatry of fitness,” everything nowadays “seems to tell us, ‘Don’t overthink things. Let go a nd enjoy life.”

“Often we try to soothe our hearts with creature comforts. … If the Magi had done that, they would never have encountered the Lord,” he commented.

Pope Francis emphasised that God is discovered in “restless questioning” and in finding the answers to life’s greatest problems, such as “Where do I find a love that does not fade, a love that endures in the face of frailty, failure, and betrayal? What hidden opportunities are present in the midst of my crises and my sufferings?”

The pope used a homily from the late Benedict XVI’s Epiphany sermon, whose burial he presided over yesterday.

“Benedict XVI said of the Magi: ‘Their outward pilgrimage was the expression of their inward journey, the inner pilgrimage of their hearts,’” Francis said, quoting his predecessor’s 2013 homily for Epiphany.

The Solemnity of the Epiphany commemorates the visit of the Magi, often referred to as the Three Wise Men or Three Kings, who brought gifts to adore the Infant Jesus immediately after his birth.

The feast is usually observed on January 6, however in the United States, Catholic dioceses observe it on the Sunday that comes between January 2 and January 8. This year, U.S. Catholics will celebrate the Epiphany on January 8.

Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle was the principal celebrant of the Eucharistic Liturgy during the Epiphany Mass, while Pope Francis delivered the homily.

In his homily, Pope Francis said that the Magi’s ceaseless inquiry and constant communication with the Lord culminated in their adoration of God.

“The purpose of everything is not to achieve a personal goal or to receive glory for ourselves, but to encounter God. To let ourselves be enveloped by his love, which is the basis of our hope, which sets us free from evil, opens our hearts to love others, and makes us a people capable of building a more just and fraternal world,” Pope Francis said.

The pope said that all pastoral activities “will be fruitless unless we put Jesus at their center and fall down in worship before him.”

“Like the Magi, let us fall down and entrust ourselves to God in the wonder of worship. Let us worship God, not ourselves; let us worship God and not the false idols that seduce by the allure of prestige and power…let us love God and not bow down before passing things and evil thoughts, seductive yet hollow and empty.”

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