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First Reading

Isaiah 60:1-6

1. The First Reading says that, even though darkness covered the earth, still, light and glory came to Jerusalem. Are you aware of God’s light and glory? What about God’s actions in your life?
2. Did Jerusalem have light of her own, apart from God? Were nations coming to her or just to the light? What do you think draws people to the Church today, power or tenderness? The light of proselytizing or of love?

Second Reading

Ephesians 3:2-3a, 5-6

1. Paul spoke of a mystery that brightened the whole world. What was it? Why was the star an integral part of the story? 

2. Paul says that a revelation was given him by the Spirit. He said that Christ’s life was too great to be limited to its starting place. His life was for all generations and not only the Jews but the Gentiles as well. All are “coheirs, members of the same body. Did the star’s light shine on each and every person, precious and irreplaceable in God’s eyes? Does this mean that we all need one other?

Matthew 2:1-12

1. What is the main contrast between Jerusalem and Bethlehem? Between Herod and the Magi? What does this tell you about places and people God chooses? At the end of this Gospel story Joseph, Mary and Jesus ended up running from Herod. Who are the modern “Herods” who sow death in the world today?

How does Pope Francis suggest that our synodal journey in the Church is comparable to the Maji’s journey?

Finally, the Magi return “by another way” (Mt 2:12). They challenge us to take new paths. Here we see the creativity of the Spirit who always brings out new things. That is also one of the tasks of the Synod we are currently undertaking: to journey together and to listen to one another, so that the Spirit can suggest to us new ways and paths to bring the Gospel to the hearts of those who are distant, indifferent, or without hope, yet continue to seek what the Magi found: “a great joy” (Mt 2:10). We must always move forwards.

Pope Francis Epiphany Homily
January 6, 2022

Anne Osdieck

Art by Martin (Steve) Erspamer, OSB
from Religious Clip Art for the Liturgical Year (A, B, and C). This art may be reproduced only by parishes who purchase the collection in book or CD-ROM form. For more information go