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Rome Reports

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Pope Francis at Epiphany Mass: “We need a lofty goal and we need to keep looking up”

For another year, the Holy Father presided over Mass for the Feast of the Epiphany in St. Peter's Basilica.

Pope Francis invited Christians to look to the sky to find the real star, as the Wise Men did. 

“The Magi were not content with just getting by, with keeping afloat. They understood that to truly live, we need a lofty goal and we need to keep looking up.”

The Magi found the right star because they put themselves on the path and left their comforts behind. The pope explained that allowed them to seek something much bigger. 

“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. We need to take risks simply to meet a Child. Yet those risks are immensely worth the effort, since in finding that Child, in discovering his tenderness and love, we rediscover ourselves.”

Remembering the Wise Men, who set out on the journey, Pope Francis gave the example of those who knew Jesus had been born but didn't search for him. The pope said it's an attitude found in many Christians who are also afraid of finding God.  

“Theirs can be the temptation of those who are used to being believers: they can talk at length about the faith they know so well, but will not take a personal risk for the Lord. They talk, but do not pray; they complain, but do no good. The Magi, on the other hand, talk little and journey much.”

The Holy Father also explained that, just like the Magi brought gifts for baby Jesus, each person can give a gift to God by doing good, even if it's unpleasant or he or she gets nothing in return. 

To conclude, Pope Francis urged all Christians to follow the example of the Wise Men – to look up, walk and give freely.

At noon, the pope led the Angelus prayer with pilgrims in the plaza. He invited them once again to let Jesus into their lives and not see it as an obstacle or threat.