2020 as a number looks good on the page doesn’t it? I hope it proves to be a blessed and positive year for you all. Of course, there will be challenges as there is with every year. May we rise to the challenges and remain people of love and hope through them all.
I begin the year with 3 seminarians present at Marist Seminary which is a sign of hope for us. Please keep them in your prayers as they discern if this way of life is for them.
Today we celebrate the Presentation of the Lord in the Temple. You will recall Mary and Joseph taking the child Jesus up to the Temple. The story comes to us in Luke’s Gospel, Luke:2:22-40, ‘Every first-born male must be consecrated to the Lord’. I hope you get a chance to hear this Gospel proclaimed or at least read aloud today or sometime during the week. There is something powerful about hearing the Word read aloud even if it is you doing the reading.
If you can steel some quiet time, we can imagine Mary and Joseph presenting the child Jesus to us bringing him to the temple of our hearts. And for us to be truly ‘present’ to him as we are, our own truth, reality and vulnerability. What word or thought rises from within you.
Two great figures in the story who had waited patiently and longingly for the Lord’s coming responded this way.
The old man Simeon in seeing the child took him in his arms and blessed God with the beautiful prayer with the Latin title, ‘Nunc Dimitis’, Now, Master, you can let your servant go in peace…….because my eyes have seen the salvation prepared for all the nations to see…..
Anna, the prophetess, also well on in years, in seeing the child praised God and she spoke of the child to all who looked forward to the deliverance of Jerusalem.
What is our response? Listen in the quiet of your heart. Maybe you feel unworthy, maybe humbled, incredibly blessed, inspired. Maybe you just want to hold out your hands and take Jesus into your arms as Simeon did.
Listen to the Psalm and song of praise ‘As a deer’ from ‘A Noble Work’. I think the mood of the song is fitting for today.