Vatican City (AsiaNews) - The Wise Men are "models of genuine seekers of truth," "men of science ... observing the cosmos", but open "to further revelations and the divine call”. Benedict XVI has taken a cue from the Feast of the Epiphany - which commemorates the journey of the Three Kings from the East following a star, until their encounter with Baby Jesus in Bethlehem - to repeat his call for collaboration between science and faith, for harmony between human research and divine truth.
Before tens of thousands of faithful in St Peter's Square for the Angelus prayer, the pope stressed that "the star and the Scriptures were the two lights that guided the journey of the Three Kings, who appear to us as models of genuine seekers of truth. They were wise men, who watched the stars and knew the history of peoples. They were men of science in a broad sense, observing the universe regarded as virtually a great book full of signs and messages from God to man. Their knowledge, therefore, far from being regarded as self-sufficient, was open to further appeals and divine revelations”.
They "are not ashamed to ask for directions from the religious leaders of the Jews. They could have said: we will do it alone; we do not need anyone, to avoid, according to today’s mentality, all 'contamination' between science and the Word of God. But the wise men listened and accepted the prophecies, and, as soon as they were on their way to Bethlehem, they saw the star again, as if to confirm the perfect harmony between human research and divine Truth, a harmony that filled their hearts of these genuine wise men with joy. "
Again, in these Three Wise Men, there is a perfect "unity between intelligence and faith: it is the fact that they were 'warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they returned by another road to their country' (Matthew 2:12). It would have been natural to return to Jerusalem, to Herod's palace and the Temple, giving resonance to their discovery. Instead, the Kings, who chose the Child as their ruler, keep it in secret, in the style of Mary, or rather, of God and, as they had appeared, they disappeared into the silence, contentment, but also changed by their encounter with the Truth. "
"May the Virgin Mary, - concluded the pope - model of true wisdom, help us to truly seek God, to be capable of living in profound harmony between reason and faith, science and revelation”.
After the Marian prayer, Benedict XVI greeted brothers and sisters of the Eastern Churches that celebrate Christmas tomorrow. "May the mystery of light - he hoped – be a source of joy and peace to every family and community".
Another salute was to the children of the Pontifical Society of Holy Childhood, founded by Pius XII in 1950, which educates children to "to form an open mind to the world and to show solidarity with their less fortunate peers". "I greet with affection - said the pope - all the little missionaries throughout the five continents and encourage them always to be witnesses of Jesus and heralds of his Gospel".