Pope reflects on The Magi

Three Wise Men - Ravenna mosaic

Three Wise Men - Ravenna mosaic

In his homily during the Mass for the Solemnity of the Epiphany yesterday,  Benedict XVI spoke about the Three Wise Men, saying: "the Magi were probably wise men who studied the skies, but not in an attempt to read the future in the stars; ... rather, they were men who sought something greater, who sought the true light, the light capable of indicating the path to follow in life. They were individuals who were certain that the creation contains what we could describe as God's signature, a signature that man can and must seek to
discover and decipher".

Referring to King Herod, the Pope described him as a "a man of power", to whom "even God appeared as a rival; indeed, a particularly dangerous rival Who sought to deprive men of their living space, of their autonomy, of their power. ... Herod is a unsympathetic figure to us, one we instinctively judge negatively because of his brutality. Yet we should ask ourselves whether there is not perhaps something of Herod in us too. Perhaps we too, at times, see God as a kind of rival. Perhaps we too are blind to His signs, deaf to His words, because we believe that He puts limitations on our lives and does not allow us to dispose of our existence as we wish".

"When we see God in this way", the Holy Father continued, "we end up feeling dissatisfied and discontented, because we do not allow ourselves to be guided by the One Who is the foundation of all things, We must remove all idea of rivalry from our minds and hearts, the idea that giving space to God is a limit to the self. We must open ourselves to the certainty that God is omnipotent love which takes away nothing, which threatens nothing. Quite the contrary, He is the only One capable of offering us the chance to live a full life and to experience true joy".

The Magi, the Pope went on, "being wise men, also knew that it is not with a mere telescope but with the eyes of profound reason which searches for the ultimate meaning of reality, with the desire for God moved by the faith, that it is possible to meet Him. Or rather, this is what makes it possible for God to approach us. The universe is not the result of chance, as some people would have us believe, and contemplating it we are called to read something more profound therein: the wisdom of the Creator, God's endless imagination, His infinite love for us.

"We must not allow our minds to be constrained by theories which are always limited and which - if we study them well - are not in any way in competition with the faith as they cannot explain the ultimate meaning of reality. In the beauty of the world, in its mystery, its greatness and its rationality we cannot fail to read the eternal rationality. And we cannot but allow ourselves to be guided by the world to the One God, Creator of heaven and earth. If we see things in this way, we will see that the One Who created the world, and the One Who was born in a grotto in Bethlehem and continues to live among us in the Eucharist, are the same living God Who calls us, Who invites us, Who wants to lead us to eternal life".

For the Magi "it seemed logical to seek the new king in the royal palace". Yet "the star guided them to Bethlehem, a small town; it guided them among the poor, among the humble, to find the King of the world. God's criteria are different to those of mankind. God does not show Himself among the powerful of this world, but in the humility of His love, the love which asks us to welcome it in our freedom, in order to transform us and enable us to reach the One Who is Love".

"In the end, for the Magi, it was vital to listen to the voice of Holy Scripture; only that could show them the way. The Word of God is the true star which, in the uncertainty of human discourse, offers us the immense splendour of divine truth", said the Pope.

He concluded: "Let us allow ourselves to be guided by the star, which is the Word of God, let us follow it in our lives, walking with the Church where the Word has pitched its tent. Our path will always be illuminated by a light which no other sign can give us. And we too will be able to act as stars for other people, a reflection of that light which Christ caused to shine upon us".

Source: VIS

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