Friday, January 06, 2006

The Epiphany

AsiaNews summary of the Pope's comments at the Angelus

AsiaNews summary of the Pope's homily

Vatican City (AsiaNews) – A great silence, permeated by attentive reflection and prayer, greeted the words of Benedict XVI as he finished his profound homily during Mass in the Basilica of St Peter to celebrate the feast of the Epiphany. This is one of the novel aspects introduced by this pope, that the liturgy is an encounter with the mystery of Jesus, not a show to be watched.

In effect, the pope’s words are a composition of doctrine and of beauty which leave one breathless, provoking an awed silence. The Epiphany (a Greek word which means ‘manifestation’) recalls the arrival of the Magi from the east to the hut in Bethlehem to adore Jesus, manifested as the King of Kings.

Benedict XVI defined the Epiphany as “a mystery of light” that of Christ, which “radiates on earth, spreading as though in concentric circles”: to the Virgin Mary and to Joseph; to the “shepherds of Bethlehem”, representative of the “rest of Israel, the poor, the anawim”; and “finally reaching the Magi, who constitute the first fruits of the pagan people”. “The palaces of power of Jerusalem remain in the shadows,” continues the pope. “Paradoxically, the news of the Messiah’s birth is delivered there by the very Magi, provoking not joy but fear and hostile reactions. A mysterious divine plan: “The light has come into the world, and people loved darkness rather than light because their deeds were evil” (Jn 3:19)

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