Seek out signs God offers everyone for finding Jesus, pope says

By Carol Glatz

CITY (CNS) — Go out and seek the signs God is offering everyone today that
will lead to Christ, Pope Francis said.

thirst for God is present in everyone, and it’s the church’s task to help those
with “a restless heart” by pointing them to the true light of Christ,
the pope said Jan. 6, the feast of the Epiphany, which marks the manifestation
of Jesus as savior to the world.

his homily during Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica, the pope said the church’s
mission is to help people “know the face of the father” by first
receiving “God’s light and then to reflect it. This is her duty.”

church must always remember, however, that the light it shares is the glory of
the Lord. “The church cannot deceive herself into thinking that she shines
with her own light. She cannot,” he said.

is the true light shining in the darkness. To the extent that the church
remains anchored in him, to the extent she lets herself be illuminated by him,
she is able to bring light into the lives of individuals and peoples,” he

is only by receiving this divine light that Christians can be true to their
vocation of proclaiming the Gospel, which is not proselytism, not a mere
profession and “not simply one option among many,” but an obligation,
he said.

Three Wise Men who come from afar seeking the promised king show that “the
seeds of truth are present everywhere, for they are the gift of the creator,
who calls all people to recognize him as the good and faithful father,” the
pope said.

church has the task of recognizing and bringing forth more clearly the desire
for God, which is present in the heart of every man and woman,” he said.

the Wise Men, countless people, even in our own day, have a restless heart,
which continues to seek without finding sure answers,” he said. “They,
too, are looking for a star to show them the path to Bethlehem.”

Christians must also keep asking and looking for the Christ child as well,
especially in today’s age, and “to seek the signs which God offers us,
realizing that they require our diligence in order to interpret them and,
therefore, understand his will.”

once we have found him, let us worship him with all our heart, and present him
with our gifts: our freedom, our intelligence, and our love,” the pope

people follow the light that “streams from the face of Christ full of
mercy and fidelity,” he said, do not forget that this light is also
“very small,” coming from a tiny, humble child in a manger.

wisdom lies concealed in the face of this child. It is here, in the simplicity
of Bethlehem, that the life of the church is summed up.”

Pope Francis and thousands of people were at Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica,
thousands more lined the main boulevard leading to St. Peter’s Square for the
traditional, folkloric Epiphany celebration. Marching bands, Roman gladiators
and hundreds of people in Renaissance costumes paraded up the street along with
the Three Kings and real camels.

the Angelus at midday, the pope said the revelation of Jesus to the shepherds
and the Three Wise Men “teaches us that in order to encounter Jesus it is
necessary to know to look up to heaven, to not be withdrawn into oneself, but
to have a heart and mind open to the horizon of God, who always surprises us,
to know to welcome his message and respond quickly and generously.”

Three Wise Men also compel “us to not be satisfied with mediocrity, to not
just stumble along in life, but to seek out the meaning of things and to look
deeply at the great mystery of life with passion. And they teach us to not be
scandalized by smallness and poverty but to recognize the majesty in humility and
know how to kneel before it.”

that star, such as the Gospel, is a source of great joy and consolation, he
said, because one feels “guided and not abandoned to our fate.” 

“Without listening to the Gospel, it is not possible to encounter”
Jesus, he said.

pope asked people to pray that the Virgin Mary “help us turn our gaze away
from ourselves, to let ourselves be guided by the star of the Gospel in order
to encounter Jesus, and to know how to lower ourselves in order to adore

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