Forty Days After Christmas, The Lord Comes To His Temple
Feast of the Presentation of the Lord
Waiting! waiting!! waiting!!!
A writer once said that waiting is the hardest part. The good thing is that in our instant age with google, fast foods, smartphones, and fast trains and speed boats we do not have to wait for too long to find answers. However, there is still one thing that modern science cannot speed up; I.e., waiting for the birth of a child. In today’s gospel, we are told that the prophets Simeon and Anna have been waiting and waiting for this day; not for their own child but the child that will bring God’s salvation to all mankind and redemption to Jerusalem We too after Christ’s birth have been waiting for this day of dedicated also for the purification of the Blessed Mother ever Virgin, the witnessing of St. Joseph as the foster father of Jesus, the Son of David and also the day dedicated to the religious and consecrated life.
Waiting often comes with weary and weakness. Simeon and Anna must have had their moments of weakness waiting on God just like we do at times frustrated waiting in God. We want him to act in our lives, we want it now and the more we have to wait on God the more impatient we can get and the more frustrating it can be. Many of us have been through it where all you want to see is to feel God presence acting in our lives instantly. The prophet of old had to wait until the day of the Lord and many wished to have seen it when Christ was born of the Blessed ever Virgin Mary.
The vocation of prophet is often difficult, confronting people with a message they don’t want to hear. Many prophets were killed. Prophets see things as God sees them, and love as God does—they feel the suffering and misery of their people. They speak the truth and take the consequences.
We hear from three prophets in today’s readings: the prophet Malachi, and Simeon and Anna in the Gospel of Luke. The prophet in Malachi reassures the people of his love for them and God’s love for them as well. The Lord is coming with power, to set his people free and purify them from their sinful ways so that they can see what the Lord is doing for them. This of course demands waiting on the Lord like gold rested by fire to bring out its finest quality away from dust.
In today’s Gospel, when Joseph and Mary take Jesus to the temple to be consecrated to God, they meet two prophetic people, Simeon and Anna, who are very close to God. We read in Luke’s Gospel that Simeon was “righteous and devout, awaiting the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him.” We are told that Anna was a longtime widow who “never left the temple, but worshiped night and day with fasting and prayer.” Simeon and Anna’s close union with God enabled them to recognize Jesus when they met him, and to joyfully and prophetically announce Jesus’ mission to the people
In the gospel, Simeon and Anna saw the glory of God in the baby Jesus, Simeon praises God and Anna goes to tell the people. What will be your own reaction? What will be your response?
We too are called to see with eyes of faith what God is doing for our good this day and the rest of our days. God reveals himself in so many ways that we cannot imagine. We don’t have to wait for too long. In a special way, he comes to us in the Eucharist, the body of Christ may we receive him, praise him and go out there to be a true witness to him. Amen.
Fr Joseph Osho