Looking for the Lord every day...
Reflections on the readings for the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord (February 2, 2020): MAL 3:1-4; PS 24:7,8,9,10; HEB 2:14-18; LK 2:22-40
MISSIO offers “Preaching Mission,” as a homily help, providing connections to mission from the readings of Sundays, Feast Days and Holy Days.
Today, forty days after Christmas, we celebrate the presentation of the Blessed Infant at the Temple in Jerusalem.
Mary and Joseph brought Jesus there so that He could be consecrated in fulfillment of the law. They met two devout people who recognized in Jesus the Holy One whom they and their people had long-awaited. First, Simeon thanked God for this privilege and told the Holy Family about the overwhelming destiny that the Christ Child would have among His people, the people of Israel. Moreover, Jesus would also profoundly affect others beyond their nation. Then, “There was also a prophetess, Anna.… She was advanced in years.… She never left the temple, but worshiped night and day with fasting and prayer. And coming forward at that very time, she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were awaiting the redemption of Jerusalem” (Luke 2:36-38).
At this first visit of our Lord to the Temple, He was singled out and proclaimed by a holy man and woman whose lives were dedicated to Almighty God. Certainly, Mary and Joseph remembered all that happened that day in later years. But what about the other people who were present? Did they recall the Holy Infant who Simeon held in his arms? Did they recall the thanksgiving Anna offered to God, and all she said about Jesus to all who would listen? They probably carried on with their day-to-day business the way they always had. But whether or not they believed in the way Simeon and Anna did, they still saw their Redeemer who would grow up to teach and heal, to suffer and die for them. Like them, we tend to take for granted the moments of our lives when God reveals Himself to us – perhaps in simple things like the beautiful face of a baby. We may be blind to those times because we are preoccupied with our own concerns. Simeon and Anna knew our Lord because they were looking for Him every day. If we emulate their loving devotion to God, we, too, will find Him in our lives because we will find Him in others.