Epiphany was marked on Thursday by Pope Francis, who urged people to resist the “tyranny” of consumerism and faith crises in their own lives and societies while also showing courage to work for justice and brotherhood in such societies.
On Epiphany, the Pope celebrated Mass at St. Peter’s Basilica, where he recalled the visit recounted in the Gospel of Three Wise Men to Baby Jesus and their sense of awe at meeting one another.
In his homily, Pope Francis called on individuals to break free from “habits, banal consumerism, dreary faith, and a sense of dread of getting involved and serving others” by overcoming these “barriers.”
“I believe the Catholic church particularly needs ‘deep desire and inner zeal,’” he said.
“We peer over earthly maps, yet we forget to look up to heaven. We are sated with a wealth of things but fail to long for what we are missing because we remain preoccupied with our own desires, such as what we will eat and wear. ”We are obsessed with our own needs, on what we’ll eat and
“And we find ourselves living in communities that want everything, have everything, but yet feel nothing but emptiness in their hearts.”
Francis, in his letter to the Director of the Yearly General Audience on November 16, 2017, called for “a courageous and prophetic faith that is unafraid to challenge the sinister logic of power and sow seeds of justice and fraternity in societies where today’s Herods continue to sow death and destruction among the poor and innocent.”
“Let us not allow apathy and resignation to drive us into a cheerless, uninteresting life,” Pope Francis declared in his address.
On Monday, King Felipe VI was due to review Spanish troops at a traditional military parade in Madrid and deliver a speech in Spain, where a national holiday was being observed. Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez was also going to attend. On Jan. 6, children and adults alike leave their shoes outside overnight and receive presents from the three kings.
Epiphany was observed on Thursday by predominantly Orthodox Greece, Cyprus, Bulgaria and Romania. The swimmer races to retrieve a floating cross thrown into the seas, rivers and lakes during water blessing ceremonies, which commemorate the baptism of Jesus Christ.
The outbreak of the pandemic unleashed a flood of historical Byzantine customs, forcing many thousands of Orthodox Christians in Bulgaria to break the law and attend mass gatherings despite the fact that they were under quarantine.
In Greece, as the nation struggles with high COVID-19 infections caused by the omicron variety, celebrations were canceled or reduced in many areas due to a surge in infections.___
This report was prepared with the assistance of Barry Hatton in Lisbon, Portugal; Veselin Toshkov in Sofia, Bulgaria; and Derek Gatopoulos in Athens, Greece.