Saturday, January 6, 2018


This is peculiar since our American Roman Calendar has us celebrating Epiphany on Sunday the 7th of January and the Baptism of the Lord on Monday, but not so at the Vatican with Pope Francis who celebrated Epiphany this morning (Saturday) at St. Peter's. Tomorrow His Holiness will baptize infants at the Baptism of the Lord in the Sistine Chapel. Will His Holiness continue the tradition Pope Benedict began and Pope Francis has done tomorrow and celebrate Mass ad orientem????? Stay tuned!

Pope on Epiphany: look up to Jesus, dare to set out and give freely

Pope Francis invites Christians to imitate the Magi who “looked up” to “the star”, ‎risked ‎to “set out” and brought their “gifts” to the Child Jesus “without expecting ‎anything in return”. ‎
By Robin Gomes
Pope Francis on Saturday held out the Magi as models, urging Christians to dare and look up to the star and “set out”, shaking off their comforts, to “give freely” and “do good” to “the least” of the “brothers and sisters” of Jesus.  The Pope’s exhortation came in his homily at a morning Mass in Rome’s St. Peter’s Basilica on the solemn feast of the Epiphany.
The Jan. 6th feast of the Epiphany, a holiday in the Vatican and Italy, commemorates the visit of the ‎Three Magi, or Wise Men from the East, who followed a star to find the Baby Jesus ‎in Bethlehem, an ‎event that symbolizes the manifestation of God, made man, to the people of the world outside the ‎chosen ‎people of Israel.
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Delivering his homily in Italian, Pope Francis focused on three actions of the Magi -  they see the star, they set outand they bring gifts.
The star of Jesus gently invites
The Pope explained that for the Magi everything began by raising their eyes to heaven to see the star - the star of Jesus which the Pope said, “does not dazzle or overwhelm, but gently invites.”  There are other brighter stars such as success, money, career, honours and pleasures that do not point the way.  Like meteors they blaze momentarily and fade, but the Lord’s star, the Holy Father said, “does not ‎promise material reward, but ensures peace and grants… joy”.
Shake off worldly comforts
Just as the Magi set out on their journey after seeing the star, the Pope said, the star of Jesus demands that those who seek Him “leave behind the armchair of worldly comforts and the reassuring warmth of hearth and home.”  “In other words,” he said, “if we want to find Jesus, we have to overcome our fear of taking risks, our self-satisfaction and our indolent refusal to ask anything more of life.”  
The Pope acknowledged this is not easy, just as the Magi came across Herod and the priests and scribes who were all afraid of the new things that God was bringing about.  Christians too can fall into the temptation of the priests and scribes who talk much about faith but take no personal risk or pray, complain but do no good.  On the contrary, the Pope said, the Magi “talk little and journey much.”
Giving freely
Finally, the Magi do as Jesus does: they bring costly gifts of gold, incense and myrrh.  The Pope said the Gospel becomes real when the journey of life ends in giving. “To give freely, for the Lord’s sake, without expecting anything in return” is “the sure sign that we have found Jesus,” the Pope said.  Giving freely, the Pope further explained, means “to do good without counting the cost, even when unasked, even when you gain nothing thereby, even if it is unpleasant. 
The Pope said that Jesus “asks us to offer something for the least of His brothers and sisters,” who have nothing to give in return - the needy, the hungry, the stranger, the prisoner, the poor.  He said, “We give a gift pleasing to Jesus when we care for a sick person, spend time with a difficult person, help someone for the sake of helping, or forgive someone who has hurt us.” 
If we only love those who love us, we do as the pagans, the Pope said, and concluded urging Christians to “try to think of some free gift that we can give without expecting anything in return.” 


Anonymous said...

I just don’t know what to say. Francis has an obligation to uphold the truths of the Faith. I don’t care what other good he may do or say. But to allow bishops and cardinals to teach that adulterers can receive communion without amendment of life and confession is an objectively evil act. I really don’t care what else he has to say. And before Mark Thomas bends over backwards to rationalize the confusion that is ripping the Church apart, if Francis truly is not promoting sacraligeous behavior then in justice he needs to publicly correct the erroneous opinions that swirl about him. And to state the truth clearly without ambiguity. I am sick of murky phrases like gender colonization or whatever he says, what does that mean. If he is Indead a loyal son of the Church then he needs to help all his brothers and sisters in the Church who are scandalized daily by his seeming embrace of everything that goes against what ordinary everyday hardworking simple Catholics expect of a pope. That nativity scene was a scandal and everybody knows it. The rigged synods are a scandal. His refusal to address nations legalizing gay “marriage” is a scandal. His embrace of Luther is a scandal. And please don’t bring up things that JP II or Benedict did that were questionable. I am talk8n* about Francis. He knows he is causing simple ordinary people heartache by his actions and he could care less. Every bishop in the world needs to add there name to that statement by Bishop Schneider. Francis needs to stop thinking that he has the authority to impose his own personal opinions on the Church. In Justice he needs to be removed for persistence in beliefs contrary to the Faith. He should really become Archbishop of Canterbury. He would be much happier and the Church would be better off. Please please God forgive us, stop this punishment (Francis) that although deserved is almost too much to bear. Please forgive our unfaithfullness and give us a shepherd who is truly humble and will teach and support us.

Henry said...

"Francis needs to stop thinking that he has the authority to impose his own personal opinions on the Church."

Historically, a pope gave up the right to speak as an individual, to express personal opinions, when he accepted election as pope--because it was understood that thereafter he could speak only in the name of the Church, not as one with personal opinions.