By Devin Watkins
As the Church marks the feast of the Epiphany on Wednesday, Pope Francis joined Catholics around the world in praying the Angelus in live-streaming.
Standing in the library of the Apostolic Palace, the Pope reflected on the light which the liturgical feast brings to our world.
He said Epiphany celebrates the same mystery as Christmas—the birth of Christ—but from the perspective of light and the manifestation of the Lord to all peoples.
That light, the Pope noted, should be “welcomed in faith and the light to bring to others in charity, through witness, in the proclamation of the Gospel.”
Light in darkness
Reflecting on Isaiah’s vision (60:1-6), Pope Francis said the prophet’s description of his time is more relevant than ever: “darkness covers the earth, and thick darkness the peoples.”
In such obscurity, the prophet Isaiah announced the coming of “the light given by God to Jerusalem and destined to shine on the path of all the peoples.”
The Pope said this attractive vision invites hope, and reminds us that God’s light overcomes all shadow of darkness.
Star on the horizon
Turning to Matthew’s telling of the Magi adoring Jesus (Mt 2:1-12), Pope Francis pointed out that the light foreseen by Isaiah was the Babe of Bethlehem, even if not everyone accepted His kingship.
“He is the star who appeared on the horizon, the awaited Messiah, the One through whom God would inaugurate His kingdom of love, of justice and of peace,” said the Pope. “He was born not only for some, but for all men and women, for all peoples.”
Shining through us
But how, asked Pope Francis, does Christ’s light come to shine everywhere and on everyone? “Through the proclamation of the Gospel,” he said.
God, he added, used this same “method” to come to us. In the Incarnation, God draws near to the other and assumes “the reality of the other.”
“The star is Christ,” he said, “but we too can and must also be the star for our brothers and sisters, as witnesses of the treasures of goodness and infinite mercy that the Redeemer offers freely to everyone.”
Guided by Christ
Pope Francis then urged everyone to welcome the light of Christ on this Epiphany, and allow ourselves to be guided—like the Magi—and converted by Christ.
“This is the journey of faith, through prayer and the contemplation of God’s works, which continually fill us with every new joy and wonder.”