After his midday “Angelus” prayer Tuesday, Pope Francis urged the tens of thousands gathered in Saint Peter’s Square to carry the Bible with them wherever they go.
“What is the light?” asked Francis. “The Gospel, the Word of God. Keep the Gospel with you always: in your pocket or your purse, to read it, with you always,” he said.
January 6 marks the Christian feast of the Epiphany, which commemorates the visit of the three Magi, or “Wise Men,” who came to the baby Jesus bearing gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. According to the biblical account, the Magi came to Jesus following a star that led them to where he lay. Pope Francis compares the light of the star to God’s word.
“The star that is able to guide everyone to Jesus is God’s Word,” the Pope said, “the Word that is in the Bible, in the Gospels. The Word of God is the light that guides our path, nourishes our faith and regenerates us.”
“It is the Word of God that renews our hearts and our communities,” the Pope said. He urged his hearers to read and meditate on God’s word every day, “so that it becomes like a flame within us to illuminate our steps, and even those who walk beside us, who are perhaps struggling to find their way to Christ.”
“Keep God’s Word handy always!” he said. “A small Gospel in your pocket or your purse.”
Today’s feast, the Pope said, celebrates the “universal salvation” that God offers. “He did not limit his love to a privileged few,” he said, “but offers it to all.” He also reminded his hearers that “we are called to always nurture great trust and hope for every person’s salvation. Even those who seem far from the Lord are followed—or even ‘chased’– by God’s passionate love,” he said.
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