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Feast of Santo Nino
Early January each year, Manila celebrates what seems to be a feast incompatible with the prevailing Christmas spirit.  This is the annual procession of Senor Jesus Nazareno, the ancient statue of the Black Suffering Christ in agony, humbly carrying the cross. The procession is marked by frenzy, anarchy, ecstasy and popular religiosity.  It has its supporters and its critics.
Then we switch to another celebration, this time, national in scope. This Sunday we celebrate the feast of the Holy Child Jesus, lovingly addressed as Senor Santo Nino. Not for adult males only, the entire community prays, sings and dances to honor the childhood of the Son of God. Not centered on suffering, the image portrays the innocence and meekness of a child. No jostling, lawless crowd, here we have only genuine merriment sensitive to the presence of all.
Both the Black Nazarene and the Holy Child images are addressed as Senor.  Senor is a Spanish word for Lord, Honorable Sir, Master.  Jesus is Lord as he carries the cross for our sins on the way to Calvary.  But Jesus is Lord also even as a young boy living in Nazareth with his mother Mary and foster-father Joseph, unknown to all, save to these two, as the very promise awaited by Israel. The gospel of Luke, Chapter 2, shows us Mary and Joseph continuously marveling at the ways of their child.
God comes to us in the great events of our salvation history, in very dramatic ways and monumental gestures.  But God also comes to us in the simplicity and normality of love, patience, obedience and labor of daily life.  In fact, God entered our history and lingered longer in the normal routine of ordinary life compared to the mere three years of concentration on the public ministry, passion, death and resurrection.  God comes to us big, yes!  But more often than that, he visits us small!  We meet the same God and Lord of history and of every human heart.
Do you have the sensitivity to perceive the presence of Jesus in the little things around you?  In the little persons you meet? In the humbling experiences you encounter?  In the silent moments of life?  In the boring details of everyday?  The Santo Nino feast challenges us to have a more open attitude to seek God in these simple things, and to give thanks to God for his presence and grace.
Your husband may not be bringing home millions, but isn’t his fidelity to the family amazing?  Your children may not be at the top of the class, but don’t they exhibit devotion to their studies?  You may not have everything you desire, but aren’t your health and peace of mind the envy of others? If we develop the habit of noticing the things we can be grateful for each day, surely, we will be surprised that God is truly present in more ways than we expect. 
The feast of Santo Nino is not just about an image or a revelry.  It is a reminder that our great God is with us in the many little things that happen to us.  And we are most connected to the Lord when we pause awhile and give thanks for these tiny details we often ignore, and yet, are powerful signs that God truly cares.