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“We need a respectful, mutual listening, free of ideology and predetermined agendas.” Pope Francis, Let us Dream, December 2020

Magi’s journey reflects our longing for God, pope says on Epiphany

The Magi had the courage to set out on a journey in the hope of finding something new, unlike Herod who was full of himself and unwilling to change his ways, Pope Francis said.

The Wise Men who set out from the East in search of Jesus personify all those who long for God and reflect “all those who in their lives have let their hearts be anesthetised,” the pope said on 6th January, the feast of the Epiphany.

“The Magi experienced longing; they were tired of the usual fare. They were all too familiar with, and weary of, the Herods of their own day. But there, in Bethlehem, was a promise of newness, of gratuity,” he said.

Thousands of people were gathered in St Peter’s Basilica as the pope entered to the sounds of the choir singing ‘Angels we have heard on high’ in Latin. Before taking his place in front of the altar, the pope stood in front of a statue of baby Jesus, spending several minutes in veneration before kissing it.

The pope said that the Magi adoring the newborn king highlight two specific actions: seeing and worshipping.

Picture: The adoration of the Magi is depicted in this icon by artist Ayman Fayez. The feast of the Epiphany is observed today, on 8th January 2017 in Latin-rite churches in the UK. (CNS photo/Gregory A. Shemitz).