This morning I joined folks from Plan Grande to go to the village of La Torera for a Celebration of the Word and for a meeting with catechumens.
Just before the celebration German asked me if I’d do the reflection. I realized this might happen and so had prepared, as part of my morning prayer.
We talked about the Magi. Wise men, maybe astrologers, they studied the stars and more. (I remarked how Don Salvador, who happened to come with is, had told me a few weeks ago that he had to wait to harvest oranges for me since the phase of the moon wasn’t good for harvesting oranges.)
But the Magi noticed something different one night. There was a strange star. They were alert and so able to read the signs of the times.
But they were also courageous. They weren’t satisfied with their discovery; they wanted to see what the star meant and who was this new king. That meant a long journey and the journey was probably difficult and perhaps dangerous.
So, being wise men but also being accustomed to seek news of kings in big cities, they went to Jerusalem, the capital of Judah. But there they learned that the Messiah would be born not in the capital, but in an aldea, a village, called Bethlehem.
They were able to go beyond their prejudices that king and Messiahs are found among the rich and powerful; they opened their hearts to find the presence of God in the simple, in the poor, in a simple village – like La Torera.
The Magi saw God in the small places, among the poor.
I urged those gathered at the celebration to be alert, to be courageous, and to keep their eyes and hearts open to see God in the midst of their daily lives in their villages.
Living here is opening me to look for God in the small things, in the villages.
A real blessing.
But I also can find God in other places, including the Cathedral of Cologne, where I prayed at the shrine of the Magi in November 2006.