Following Mass for the Feast of the Epiphany, Pope Francis during his Angelus, addressed a special thought “to the brethren of the Eastern Churches, Catholic and Orthodox, many of whom celebrate the Lord’s Christmas tomorrow (7th).”
We wish them and their communities, he said, “the light and peace of Christ the Saviour.”
During his Angelus address, the Pope drawing from the Gospel of the day dwelt on the three wise men.
The Pontiff described how after encountering the baby Jesus, their lives were changed.
“They saw a different king, a king “who is not of this world”, meek and humble, yet indicated in agreement by the stars and the Holy Scriptures.”
The Pope went on to explain that “the encounter with Jesus does not hold back the Magi, on the contrary, it gives them a new impetus to return to their country, to tell what they saw and the joy they felt.”
The experience of knowing God, remarked Pope Francis, “does not block us, but frees us; it does not imprison us, but it puts us back on the road…”
The Gospel passage, he emphasized, “contains a detail which prompts our reflection. At the end of the story, it is said that the Magi were “warned in a dream not to return to Herod, and by another route they returned to their country””.
Every experience of meeting Jesus, noted the Pope, “leads us to take different paths, because from Him comes a good force that heals the heart and detaches us from evil.”
“This is the difference between the true God and traitorous idols, such as money, power, success…; between God and those who promise to give you these idols, such as magicians, fortune tellers, sorcerers,” he said.
“The true God does not hold us back, nor does He let Himself be held back by us: He opens to us ways of novelty and freedom.”
Following the recitation of the Marian prayer, Pope Francis had a special greeting for those involved in the historical-folkloristic procession, on the avenue leading to the Vatican and inspired by the traditions of the Epiphany. The Pope also extended his greeting to the procession of the Magi in numerous cities and villages in Poland.