VATICAN CITY (CNS) — People find Jesus only through humble love, and once they find him, they are called to offer him the gifts of their prayer, their adoration and their care of others, Pope Francis said.
Celebrating the feast of Epiphany Jan. 6, the pope said Christians are called to imitate the Magi: “They do not debate; they set out. They do not stop to look, but enter the house of Jesus. They do not put themselves at the center, but bow down before the one who is the center. They do not remain glued to their plans, but are prepared to take other routes.”
And they each bring gifts, he said during his homily. “In this Christmas season now drawing to its close, let us not miss the opportunity to offer a precious gift to our king,” especially by caring for those who cannot repay the gift.
Pope Francis pleaded with European governments to demonstrate “concrete solidarity” with 32 migrants rescued from the Mediterranean Dec. 22 and 17 others rescued Dec. 29. The 49 people, including several children, are still on the rescue boats of the Germany-based Sea-Watch humanitarian organization; no European government has given the boats permission to dock and bring the migrants ashore.
In his Mass homily and in his main Angelus address, Pope Francis contrasted the attitude and actions of the Three Kings with the attitude of Herod, who was “greatly troubled” at news of the Messiah’s birth. While the Wise Men set out to meet Jesus, Herod stayed in his palace, plotting ways to keep all his power.
Herod and the scribes, he said at the Angelus, “had hard hearts, which stubbornly refused to visit that baby. That is a possibility: closing oneself to the light. They represent those who, even in our day, are afraid of the coming of Jesus and close their hearts to their brothers and sisters in need.”