Monday, December 17, 2012

Epiphany in the Year of Faith: Blessed John Paul II

        They came from the East ... strange pilgrims:  Wizard Kings,
the Magi.  They passed through Jerusalem.

        They were led by a mysterious star, by outer light itself....
But they were led even more by faith, by inner light.  They arrived ...
and prostrated and adored him....

        Through that pilgrimage to Bethlehem, the Magi ... became the
beginning and symbol of all those who come to Jesus through faith....

        They became the beginning and prefiguration of those who come
from beyond the frontiers of the Chosen People of the Old Alliance,
and reached, and keep on reaching Christ through faith...

        Epiphany is the feast of the vitality of the Church....The Church
is herself when men -- like the Shepherds and the Kings from the
East -- reach Jesus Christ through faith,  When they find God in
Christ-Man and through Christ.

        So Epiphany is the great feast of faith.

        Taking part in this feast are those who have already reached
the faith and those who are still on the way to it.  They take part with
thanksgiving for the gift of faith, as did the Magi, who were full of
gratitude and kneeled before the Child.  The Church takes part in
this feast and every year becomes more conscious of the vastness
of her mission.  To how many people must she still bring the faith!....
But the Church can never call a halt, because she is aware of that
great gift, the gift of the incarnation of God.  She must go on always
seeking the way to Bethlehem for every person and every time.

        Epiphany is the feast of God's challenge!

                                                -- Blessed John Paul II
                                                        6 January 1979

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