Pope Celebrates Epiphany Calling for Courage and Hope
(06 Jan 08 - RV) Pope Benedict XVI celebrated the feast of the Epiphany Sunday morning
with solemn mass, during which he called for men and women to have the courage and
faith to hope and work for a more just and united world. Emer McCarthy has more of
XVI celebrated the feast of the Epiphany Sunday calling for men and women to have
the courage to work for a more just and united world.
“Today we celebrate the
Solemn Feast of the Epiphany when our Lord made himself known to the Gentiles. Christ
continues to manifest himself to men and women of all nations inviting them to share
in the inheritance of grace”.
Thousands of multicoloured umbrellas spilled
from St Peter’s Square, as families took refuge from relentless rain to hear the Pope’s
He told them that the light of the star – followed by the
Three Wise Men to Bethlehem – is a sign that “the light of Christ had begun to draw
men to Him…. Of all tongues, peoples and cultures”.
The Church he continued
“carries out the mission of that star for all humanity. But the same could be said
of every Christian, Each authentic believer is called to help those who perhaps have
difficulty in finding the path that leads to Christ.
Earlier in Solemn mass
marking the feast day Pope Benedict delved deeper into the meaning of the Epiphany. In
a homily that traced the history of Gods divine plan of salvation for all mankind,
stretching back over 4 thousand years to events recounted in the Book of Genesis,
Pope Benedict told the congregation that this “divine plan”, was fully revealed and
realised in Christ, but is still asking to be heard by history”. “This – continued
the Pope - is where the truth of man and of his entire history lies. But it is
contrasted by divisive pressures and abuses, which lacerate humanity and are caused
by the sin of conflict and selfishness”. Pope Benedict explained: “….it cannot
be said that globalisation is synonymous of world order, it is the opposite. Conflicts
for world order and the pillaging of (natural) resources, water and raw materials
make the work of those who strive for a just and fair world, all the more difficult.
We need a greater hope that helps us choose common good over the luxury of a few and
the misery of many”. Quoting from his encyclical Spe salvi , Pope Benedict XVI
related theses divisions to a lack of hope and faith in Jesus Christ: “This great
hope can only be God….not any God, but that God who has a human face”: If there is
great hope, - he said - than we can soldier on in sobriety. If there is no hope,
then we search for happiness in the fleeting, superfluous, in excesses and we ruin
ourselves and the world. Moderation therefore is not simply an ascetic rule, but
also a path to salvation for humanity. By now it has become increasingly evident
that only by choosing a sober lifestyle, accompanied by a series commitment to an
equal distribution of wealth, will a just and sustainable model of development be
possible.”. Pope Benedict XVI concluded his homily with an invitation to hope
and courage: “there is a need for men who nurture great hope and thus posses even
greater courage. The courage of the Magi, who undertook a long journey, following
a star, and who knew how to kneel before a child and offer him their precious gifts.
We all need this courage anchored to a solid hope.