Pope Francis said on the day of the Epiphany of the Lord, which is “the manifestation of Jesus that shines like a light upon all the nations”, that the Magi are a model for “those who seek the light", for those who “go out and search” who “do not remain inward-looking, focused on what happens around them”. Instead, “they place their own life on the line”.
The pontiff also had copies of a booklet titled Icons of Mercy
handed out to some 60,000 people gathered in St Peter's Square for the
Angelus prayer, by volunteers, including some who are poor and homeless.
“Today we celebrate today the Epiphany of the Lord,” the Holy Father
said before the Marian prayer, which “is the manifestation of Jesus that
shines like a light upon all the nations. The symbol of the light that
shines in the world and wants to brighten the life of everyone is the
star that guided the Magi to Bethlehem. 'We saw his star at its rising’
(Mt 2,2), they said, and they chose to follow it; they chose to be
guided by the star of Jesus.
“In our life, there are several stars, lights that twinkle and guide
u. It is up to us to choose which ones to follow. There are flashing
lights that come and go, like the small pleasures of life. Although they
may be good, they are not enough because they do not last and do not
bring the peace we seek. Then there are the dazzling lights of the
limelight, money and success that promise everything right away. They
are seductive, but with their strength they blind and lead us from
dreams of glory to the thickest darkness. By contrast, the Magi invite
us to follow a stable and friendly light, which never wanes because it
is not of this world but comes from heaven and shines in the heart."
“This true light is the light of the Lord, or rather, it is the Lord.
He is our light – a light that does not dazzle, but accompanies and
gives a unique joy. This light is for everyone and calls on everyone. We
can thus feel that today’s call from the prophet Isaiah – ‘Arise!
Shine’ (Is 60:1) – is for us.
“We can welcome this call at the start of each day: Arise, shine,
follow today, among the many shooting stars in the world, the bright
star of Jesus! By following it, we shall have joy, as did the Magi, who
'were overjoyed at seeing the star’ (Mt 2:10) because where
there is God there is joy. Those who have encountered Jesus experienced
the miracle of light that pierces the darkness and know this light that
illuminates and brightens.
“I respectfully would like to call on everyone not to be afraid of
this light and open up to the Lord. Especially, I would like to say to
those who have lost the strength to seek, to those who, dominated by the
darkness of life, no longer long: ‘Take courage, the light of Jesus can
overcome the darkest gloom’. Get up! Take courage!"
“How can we find this divine light? Let us follow the Magi’s example,
whom the Gospel always describes as on the move. Those who seek light,
must go out and search. They do not remain inward-looking, focused on
what happens around them; they place their life on the line. The
Christian life is a continuous journey, made up of hope and search. [It
is] a path that, like that of the Magi, also continues when the star
momentarily disappears from view. In this journey, there are also some
pitfalls that should be avoided: superficial and mundane chatter that
slow the pace, the paralysing whims of selfishness, the hollowness of
pessimism that traps hope.
“These obstacles halted the scribes, of whom the Gospel speaks today.
They knew where the light was, but did not budge. [. . .] The Magi did.
They found the Child, and ‘prostrated themselves and did him homage.’ (Mt 2:
11). They did not simply look at him, they did not simply say a
suitable prayer”. Instead, “they worshiped him. They entered into a
personal communion of love with Jesus. They presented him with gold,
frankincense and myrrh, that is their most valuable goods. We learn from
the Magi not to devote to Jesus only spare time and the occasional
thought; otherwise we would not have his light. Like the Magi, let us
set out, covering ourselves in the light by following the star of Jesus.
Let us worship the Lord with the whole of ourselves."