Have You Seen the Star?

by Pope Francis

The Magi saw a star. This is where their journey and ours starts. But why, we might ask, did the Magi alone see the star?

Perhaps because few people raised their eyes to heaven. We often make do with looking at the ground: it’s enough to have our health, a little money, and a bit of entertainment. I wonder if we still know how to look up at the sky.

Do we know how to dream, to long for God, to expect the newness he brings, or do we let ourselves be swept along by life, like dry branches before the wind?

The Magi were not content with just getting by, with keeping afloat. They understood that to truly live, we need a lofty goal and we need to keep looking up.

Yet we can also ask why, among all those who looked up at the heavens, so many others did not follow that star, “His star” (Mt 2:2). Perhaps because the star was not eye-catching, did not shine any brighter than other stars. …

Jesus’ star does not dazzle or overwhelm, but gently invites. We may ask ourselves what star we have chosen to follow in our lives.

Some stars may be bright, but they do not point the way. So it is with success, money, career, honors, and pleasures when these become our life.

They are meteors: they blaze momentarily, but then quickly burn out and their brilliance fades. …

The Lord’s star, however, may not overwhelm by its brightness, but it is always there, ever kindly: it takes you by the hand in life and accompanies you. It does not promise material reward, but ensures peace and grants, as it did to the Magi, exceedingly great joy (Mt 2:10). But it also tells us to set out. …

Following Jesus is a journey to be undertaken.

Excerpted and adapted from the pope’s homily on the solemnity of Epiphany, January 6, 2018