Pope at Angelus: God surprises us with His presence
By Devin Watkins
Pope Francis prayed the traditional Marian prayer of the Angelus on Friday, the Solemnity of the Epiphany of the Lord, with pilgrims gathered in St. Peter’s Square.
In his remarks ahead of the Angelus, the Pope noted that the three Magi who sought the Child Jesus not only brought Him their gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh, but also received three precious gifts from Him.
Stepping out of our comfort zones
God’s first gift to the Magi was “the call”, in which He employed their search and study of the stars to invite them to set out on a journey toward God’s Son.
Pope Francis pointed out that they were “wise and educated” men whose fascination with what they did not know urged them to “go beyond”.
Discerning goal of life’s journey
The second gift the Magi received was the spirit of discernment. Since they sought a king, they met first with King Herod in Jerusalem.
Yet, they saw through his hunger for power and avoided the temptation he offered them to give up the newborn Messiah.
“They knew how to distinguish between the goal of their journey and the temptations they found along the way,” said the Pope.
We, too, he added, must learn how to “renounce what seduces” and choose God’s ways through the gift of discernment.
Welcoming surprise of God’s presence
Next, God surprises the three Magi at the end of their lengthy journey.
They find a baby with His mother, even though they were seeking “a powerful and prodigious Messiah”.
Rather than thinking they made a mistake, the Magi know how to recognize Him, welcome God’s surprise, and adore Him.
Astounded by our gifts from God
In conclusion, Pope Francis urged everyone to recognize our call to discern God’s presence and enjoy His surprises.
“Today, it would be beautiful to remember these gifts which we have already received,” he said, “to think back to when we sensed God’s call in life; or even when, perhaps after quite a struggle, we succeeded in discerning His voice; or even still, of an unforgettable surprise He gave us, astounding us.”
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