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Rome Reports

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Pope on the Epiphany: To find God you have to get rid of worldly affections

For yet another year, Pope Francis celebrated the Mass for the solemnity of the Epiphany of the Lord. The feast recalls the Three Magi who came in search of the Child God, offering gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.

The kings represent all people, the pope said during his homily. Pope Francis also explained that God came to the world for everyone, yet he did not choose to shine more than anyone else. He chose humility, the same path the Church must follow.

"How many times, even as a Church, have we tried to shine with our own light. We are not 'the sun' of humanity. We are the moon that, despite its shadows, reflects the true light, the Lord. He is the light of the world. Him, not us."

The pope insisted that in order to find the light of God, it is necessary not to be still like the scribes Herod consulted. They knew where the Messiah was born, but did not move.

"Yet to be clothed in God, who like the light is simple, we must first put aside our pretentious robes. Otherwise, we will be like Herod, who preferred the earthly lights of success and power to the Divine Light. The Magi, instead, fulfill the prophecy. They arise and shine, and are clothed in light. They alone see the star in the heavens: not the scribes, nor Herod, nor any of the inhabitants of Jerusalem."

To find God, humble and small, means embarking on a different path, said Pope Francis. It is an alternative way to the world, like the one taken by Mary, Joseph, the shepherds and the Magi.

"Like the Magi, they left home and became pilgrims on God's path. For only those who leave behind their worldly attachments and take on a journey, find the mystery of God." 

Lastly, the pope invited everyone to give a gift to Jesus at Christmas, not just to others. He said gold, frankincense and myrrh were good presents. Gold means placing God first; frankincense is dedicating time to prayer; and myrrh is healing the wounds of those who suffer the most.